Thursday, December 21, 2017
Swamp Sparrow! - 20 Dec 2017
Not ten minutes after arriving home and celebrating all of the Swamp Sparrows at Erie Marsh I took a peak out the back window at the feeders. I spotted a tiny little sparrow with a dark cap and buffy sides foraging by itself with no other birds present. Swamp Sparrow! New yard bird #97!
You see, when I switched back to normal camera settings and started to photographing the bird I started noticing the thin stripes along the flanks that are normally not associated with winter Swamp Sparrows. The overall olive coloration and streaking started me steering toward Lincoln's Sparrow. So, I had to pull out some references to compare the two.
Lincoln's Sparrows show the buffy flanks and throat and thin streaking, but have a whiter belly compared to Swamp Sparrows. A darker submoustachial stripe also helps.
This turned out to be a nice bird to learn some new ID characteristics.