Wrap up June with our end-of-month sale. Save 15% on Awesome and Plus accounts. Upgrade now

Clay-colored Sparrow
Spizella pallida
Sexes similar: light brown cheek edged with darker brown; light brown, unstreaked breast; white eyebrow; light 'jaw' stripe; dark crown with a pale stripe through the center; pale bill; light-colored legs.

Size: L 5-51/2 in. (13-14 cm).

Range: common summer breeder and uncommon migrant in the Canadian and northern U.S. Rockies; uncommon to rare breeder and migrant in the central U.S. Rockies; rare elsewhere in the Rockies.

Habitat: forest edges, birch and willow shrubs, patches of rose bushes, semi-open areas and open deciduous forests in the lower montane.

Nesting: very low in a grassy tuft or small bush; cup nest is woven with grass and small roots and lined with fine materials, including fur; pair incubates 3-4 bluish-green, speckled eggs for 10-12 days.

Feeding: forages on the ground and gleans low vegetation for seeds; also eats grasshoppers and other insects.

Voice: call is a soft chip; song is an insect-like, repeated, flat buzz that usually skips between 2-3 pitches.

Similar Species: Brewer's Sparrow: less contrast in the face markings; faint eye ring; faint (if present) crown stripe

Discover more inspiring photos like this one.

Download the FREE 500px app Open in app