[CT Birds] Big January 2013 results

Mark Szantyr birdinggeek at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 22:34:26 EST 2013

Certainly not subvirgatus. And while many of the characters you cite are true for summer  or fall birds in this genus, winter is a bit tougher. The structure of this birds bill is smaller, like Nelson's, than Saltmarsh. The flank streaking is not right for Saltmarsh, weird for Subvirgatus, but might be ok for other forms of nelson's. A west coast birder mentioned to me that birds appearing like this in California are called Nelson's. 

But hey, who knows... I think that Nelsons of some form, or maybe Nelson's X Saltmarsh can not be ruled out at this time.... Saltmarsh would probably be a better bird...its still a tick for 2013 no matter what you decide to call it. 


On Feb 5, 2013, at 10:00 PM, charles barnard jr <chbarnjr at gmail.com> wrote:

> The bird under discussion comes across to me as being a Saltmarsh Sparrow.
> I do see dusky streaking within the supercilium, behind the eye. This fits
> Saltmarsh Sparrow.  Also, the streaking characteristics look similar to the
> many Saltmarsh Sparrows which nest in Stratford and Pine Creek in
> Fairfield. There is some variability in this, but I think that the
> streaking fits within the range of Saltmarsh  The chest has a white
> background, with only a faint trace of yellow/orange. This fits Saltmarsh,
> many of which show only faint chest color.  In contrast, the face shows
> strong color, as it does on this bird
> http://ctaudubon.blogspot.com/2013/02/big-january-2013.html
> If this were a Nelson's of any race, the face and chest should match in
> both color and the density of that color. On a Nelson's chest, there is a
> strong and clean-cut line of demarcation between the chest color and the
> belly. They have an almost bib like appearance.  That is totally lacking on
> this bird.
> The bill looks a bit short for a Saltmarsh, but other than that I have no
> other reason to think that it is not a Saltmarsh Sparrow. I don't see any
> sign of the subvirgatus race of Nelson's Sparrow in this bird at all.
> Charlie Barnard Jr.
> Stratford
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