Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)
Status in the Checklist Area - (9) Accidental

A small sparrow, commonly breeds in the eastern section of the Province. Migratory, migrates south to central Mexico for the winter. Would be expected to be seen in checklist area during spring and fall migration but records exist from summer in the checklist area. Adult engages in distraction display to lure predators away from the nest. This behaviour is uncommon among songbirds.

Similar species:
Such as the case with sparrows, identification can be tricky especially with juveniles and non-breeding plumaged adults. Smaller, more buffy and lacking (as adult) streaking on the breast helps rule out Song Sparrow. Chipping and Brewer's Sparrows pose the most difficulty. On non-breeding adults, watch for the warm buffy breast as opposed to browner-grey that gives a cooler apperance on Chipping and Brewer's. The central median stripe on the crown is distinct. Face pattern, while subtle, can aid in telling the three apart as well. See photos below.

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)

Noteworthy Data
October 11, 2013 Harrison Lagoon, Harrison Hot Springs E. Klassen 2013 In the boat launch parking lot and eastern end of the lagoon. Last seen October 13, 2013 (G. Gadsden 2013c).
September 08, 2013 Harrison Lagoon, Harrison Hot Springs G. Gadsden 2013b Nonbreeding adult near the boat launch.
September 03, 2013 Delair Farm, Hope C. McDonald 2013c
D. Beeke
May 31, 2013 Delair Farm, Hope R. Toochin 2013 Adult photographed.
September 22, 2012 Delair Farm, Hope R. Toochin 2012b Photographed.
August 15, 2012 Hope Airport D. Beeke 2012d
T. Beeke
Photographed at the west end of the airport.
May 24, 2010 Manning Provincial Park J. Perrin 2010a Adult feeding near old horse barns. Photographed.
July 08, 2009 Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, Chilliwack B & J Clayton Adult near interpretive building.
June 07, 2008 Allison Pass summit, Manning Park J. Vooys In public works yard. First record for checklist area.
Audio and Video    
None available

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