[Mystery bird] Juvenile Gambel's White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelli, photographed in Arizona. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Richard Ditch, 25 November 2006 [larger view].
Date Time Original: 2006:11:25 08:07:50
Exposure Time: 1/200
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Certainly a first year White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) - note gray face and nape, unmarked flanks, gray and red streaked crown and thin whit wing bars.
Certainly a first year White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) - note gray face and nape, unmarked flanks, gray and red streaked crown and thin white wing bars - great shot of a very widespread North American species.
Seconding the White Crowned Sparrow. It's the only sparrow in my Sibley with a striped red/brown crown and an orange bill - most of the others seem to have gray bills. That white eye-ring is also an indicator, as is those bits of white wing bars.
We can take this one one step further -- given the pale lores, this has to be either a Z. l. gambellii, or one of the pacific coast subspecies. However, the location is a useful cue, since the pacific coast subspecies are largely non-migratory. Also, Sibley's shows them with yellow bills, not the orange on this bird.