Clay-colored Sparrow, Spizella pallida


Clay-colored Sparrow, basic adult, 2/25/11, Martin Refuge, Edinburg, TX
Clay-colored Sparrows nest in the northern prairie states and provinces, and winter in South Texas and Mexico. The pictures above and just below show an adult winterer in Texas, and the ones further below show two vagrant wintering birds in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a few appear each winter.
 

Clay-colored Sparrow, 2/25/11, Martin Refuge, Edinburg, TX


Clay-colored Sparrow, first cycle, 10/13/08, Palo Alto Baylands
The bird shown in the picture above and the two just below is in its first cycle, as evidenced by the indistinct streaking on the crown and the light buff streak across the upper breast; compare the distinct central crown stripe and the all-white breast of the adult birds at the top and bottom of this page. This bird also has a deformed bill, with the upper mandible abnormally small, as best shown in the picture with the bird facing the camera.
 

Clay-colored Sparrow, first cycle, 10/13/08, Palo Alto Baylands


Clay-colored Sparrow, first cycle, 10/13/08, Palo Alto Baylands


Clay-colored Sparrow, 1/29/09, Guadalupe River south of I-85