Camo Sparrow

I was just about to head home after hanging out around a seed feeder we fill during the winter season. I was also running the Merlin Bird ID app which listens and then reports if it hears a bird and what species best matches the song. The other day, and again earlier today Merlin told me that there was a Fox Sparrow in the area. This is referred to as a “common but retiring bird.” That means they are hard to spot. The only times I’ve seen them was during the February Polar Vortex episodes in 2021 and 2022. It got so cold, even the most reclusive species came up to the house where we offered food and liquid water. Otherwise, I have not spotted them out-and-about. Fox Sparrows spend the non-breeding (winter) season in my area.

I was excited when Merlin popped up with a Fox Sparrow ID, so I look around to see if I could spot it. I saw a small sparrow bird about 40 feet away in the branches of a shrub that has not yet lost its golden-brown leaves. I snapped a few shots, then had to wait to see if it was, indeed a Fox sparrow.

Well, I’m pretty sure the bird was a Song Sparrow. That’s a species that is a year-round resident here. But, not one that I see at the feeder very often. Fox or Song, they look fairly similar and this bird was so perfectly camouflaged that I actually couldn’t figure out what I was looking for in the original photo.

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