[CT Birds] sharp-tailed sparrows

Chris Elphick elphick at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jun 12 20:32:34 EDT 2014

Hi all,

I thought that this comparison photo, taken a few days ago at Barn Island by one of our field crew, might be of interest:

Note the different mandible colour, lack of black streaks in the eyebrow stripe, smudgy grey (vs black) breast streaking (flanks too, though hard to see in this pic), yellowy (even a little greenish in life) vs orange lores, and smaller bill of the Nelson's.  (Note ID is harder with the interior subspecies, but the vast majority of the birds that come through CT are like this one.)

Nelson's should all be north of here by now, but they'll be back in late September.

If you're interested in knowing more about our research, check out these web sites:




Also, for what it is worth, all the nests we were monitoring at Hammo (and presumably other sites - though they've not been checked yet) failed last night due to the high tides - this is not too unusual at this time of year, but it means that there is likely to be a burst of activity in the next couple of days as birds remate and females build new nests.  These days immediately after big spring tides are the best time to hear saltmarsh sparrows singing their quite buzzy song.


Chris Elphick
Storrs, CT
elphick at sbcglobal.net

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