Posts Tagged ‘ccsp’

Clay-colored Sparrow

Friday, December 21st, 2018



A rarity to Powdermill, this sparrow usually breeds in shrublands, field edges, and thickets across the northern prairies.

Powdermill Nature Reserve’s avian research center is part of Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s biological research station in Rector, Pennsylvania.  The research center operates a bird banding station, conducts bioacoustical research, and performs flight tunnel analysis with the goal of reducing window collisions.



I’m fighting a cold, but the year’s almost done and I’m tied for the top spot in the county-year eBird rankings. So I set the alarm and headed to River Park in Lompoc, where a Clay-colored Sparrow has been seen lately hanging out with the White-crowned Sparrows.

I spent most of my time checking out a couple of different groups of White-crowns, trying hard to make one of them look smaller than the rest. No dice.

I’d basically given up (again. why is it always like that?) and was heading back to my car past the pond when I saw one more group of sparrows I hadn’t checked before. And there, hopping around with them, was one that was distinctly smaller. And cuter. 🙂

My photo’s nowhere near as good as the OP’s. But it’s special to me.


This could be my last county-year bird of 2018. I’ve got a few chances at a Northern Pygmy-Owl coming up, and there have been some Black and White-winged Scoters seen off Vandenberg not far from Surf Station; maybe I could see one of those. And there’s the method Nick explained a while back to scope for American Bitterns at Ocean Beach Park. Any of those could add another species to the list.

And there’s always the chance of a wildcard. They’re birds; you can’t predict them.

Reposted from