Song Sparrow

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“Melospiza fasciata. Song Sparrow. Silver-tongue. Below, white, slightly shaded with brownish on the flanks and crissum; with numerous black-centred, brown-edged streaks cross breast and along sides, usually forming a pectoral blotch and coalescing into maxillary stripes bounding the white throat; crown dull bay, with fine black streaks, divided in the middle and bounded on either side by ashy-whitish lines; vague brown or dusky and whitish markings on sides of the head; a brown post-ocular stripe over the gray auriculars, and another, not so well defined, from angle of mouth below the auriculars; the interscapular streaks black, with bay and ashy-white edgings; rump and cervix grayish-brown, with merely a few bay marks; wings with dull bay edgings, the coverts and inner quills marked like the interscapulars; tail plain brown, with darker shaft lines, on the middle feathers at least, and often with obsolete transverse wavy markings. Very constant in plumage, the chief difference being in the sharpness and breadth of the markings, due in part to the wear of the feathers. In worn midsummer plumage, the streaking is very sharp, narrow, and black, from wearing of the rufous and whitish, especially observable below where the streaks contrast with white, and giving the impression of heavier streaking than in fall and winter, when in fresher feather, the markings are softer and more suffuse. The aggregation of spots into a blotch on the middle of the breast is usual. Bill dark brown, paler below; feet pale brow.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: S


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


TIFF (full resolution)

2027×2400, 1.7 MiB

Large GIF

864×1024, 327.3 KiB

Medium GIF

540×640, 151.8 KiB

Small GIF

270×320, 40.9 KiB