Monday, November 19, 2012

Answer to Bird Quiz #152: Le Conte's Sparrow

Even though sparrows can be quite tricky, most people were able to figure out our quiz bird this past week.

Last Week's Quiz:


How to Identify:

This week we have a bird that is pretty easy to identify as a sparrow right off the bat; just take a look at overall shape, bill shape, and the usual sparrow coloration of brownish tones with some streaking.  A few sparrows don’t fit this individual due to heavy streaking (Song, Savannah, Vesper, etc) on the chest.  Also, quite a few sparrows don’t fit this individual due to no streaking on the chest (too numerous to mention them all).  When we look at the head shape of this individual it quickly identifies this as an ammodramus sparrow.  The flat head shape is fairly distinct among the sparrows.  The three ammodramus sparrows that have similar chest streaking to this bird are Le Conte’s, Nelson’s, and Henslow’s Sparrow.  Henslow’s usually shows heavier streaking than this individual and doesn't show the grayish face and streaked nape that our quiz bird shows.  Also, Henslow’s has a distinct olive-yellow nape and back half of the eyebrow.  Nelson’s is usually much brighter/more colorful overall and doesn't show a median crown stripe or a streaked nape.  Nelson’s also has a very distinct plain gray nape.  So our bird is a Le Conte’s Sparrow.

Next Quiz:

The final quiz in this series can be found at http://nuttybirder.com/BirdQuiz/birdquiz.html#.UKpRXIeoOSo.

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