Clay-colored Sparrow

General description.

The "Clay-colored Sparrow" is a small sparrow with a buff cheek patch bordered above and below with black. Although abundant, this sparrow is secretive and hard to spot.

Juvenile appearance.

The young have buffy rumps and chests.

Breeding habits.

The "Clay-colored Sparrow" breeds in the brushy grasslands from north-central Canada and the Great Lakes region south to Colorado and Michigan.

Calls or song.

The sound of the The "Clay-colored Sparrow" may be mistaken for a cicada's, a series of four or five toneless buzzing notes. He also emits a "chip" call note.

Population and distribution.

The "Clay-colored Sparrow" is the western cousin of the "Chipping Sparrow", and it may be extending its range into the east, where it has been spotted in Massachusetts and Florida. This sparrow winters north to southern Texas.

Nesting habits.

The female makes a bulky cup of grass and hair, which she places in a bush or clump of high weeds up to six feet from the ground. In it, she lays 3-5 pale blue eggs, spotted with dark brown.
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