|Species: Fox Sparrow
sparrow with variations of coloring from dusky brown to fox red or
slate often so dark that no back pattern can be discernable. There
are considered to be four subspecies due to color variants. All
subspecies have heavy streaking of underparts converging at
midbreast into a larger brown spot.
Fox Sparrow is a large, chunky sparrow and the only member of the
genus Passerella, although some scientists split the genus into four
species or forms. The Sooty form is the one found in south-western
BC breeding along the Pacific Coast and wintering from Alaska to
Fox Sparrows spend much of the time in the shade of shrubs and
bushes using a "double-scratching," backward scratching motion to
uncover insects and seeds in fallen litter. It is widespread
throughout coastal western North America breeding as far north as
rounded head outline, heavy bill with lighter-colored lower
mandible, distinguished by slightly notched tail. Color variations
in subspecies, all populations interbreed where range overlaps.
6 - 7 ¼" (15 – 18 cm)
Weight: 1.1 oz (32 gm)
(taiga) Uncommon in BC. Relatively short tailed and long winged,
more brightly marked than other subspecies with bright reddish-brown
plumage, whitish wing-bars, gray face and rufous streaked white
Sooty (pacific) Common on coastal range from Alaska to
California. Slightly longer tailed and shorter winged than Red,
uniformly brownish plumage with dense spotted breast. Northern
populations are paler than more southern populations.
Slate-Colored (interior West) Common in interior BC
down to mid-western US. Relatively long tailed with yellow bill.
Plumage drag gray above with dull reddish wings and tail, heavily
spotted on underparts.
Canadian Rock Mountain subspecies is intermediate
between slate colored and red subspecies.
Adult coloring similar for both male and female.
Similar to male.
Juvenile similar to adult.
Hermit thrush has dark, thinner , longer bill, spotted below , tail
Its vigorous "double-scratching," kicking backward in ground litter
with both feet to uncover food, often draws attention to its
presence under a bird feeder. Sings from elevated perch, gregarious
except when breeding. Nests near ground.
Thickets and forest edges mixed or second growth forests.
Often mixes with
other sparrows when not in breeding season. Spends much time in the
shade of shrubs and brushes scratching in fallen litter for insects