Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca)

Fox Sparrow
Fox Sparrow - San Bernardino, CA
© Tom Benson
Fox Sparrow
Fox Sparrow - Twentynine Palms, CA
© Tom Benson

The Fox Sparrow is a casual visitor to campus with seven records from October to February, primarily from the dense chaparral on the north side of Badger Hill. Additionally, a bird was found dead in October 2003 following the Old Fire. Two subspecies of Fox Sparrow have been observed on campus, the Slate-colored Fox Sparrow (P. i. schistacea) and the Sooty Fox Sparrow (P. i. unalaschcensis) It is a common breeding resident in chaparral habitats of southern California, and is supplemented in the winter by migrants from more northerly populations.

Fox Sparrows can be identified by their deep-based, conical bills, gray head and back, rusty brown wings and tail, and white underparts with brown spotting and streaking.


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