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Fox Sparrows at Hillpoint Park

bitanangan
 

Hi Birders,
      Birds were everywhere and abundant today in SE SF, including Hillpoint Park where there were at least 3 subspecies of Fox sparrows, including Red. This has led me on a late-night quest for further info, which has further led to varied discoveries, including an interesting Facebook page where a cascade of Fox Sparrow photos are posted with many expertly vetted. Fox Sparrows are full of puzzles and ambiguity, but you feel, as a non-professional, like you’re cutting into a mystery, digging deeper into what is, what was and what may be yet again (and again) thought a species and subspecies. I’m pretty sure about the Red, but not quite sure about what I nonetheless called a Slate-colored because it seemed more that than a Sooty—and of further obscure interest—which was also molting it’s flight feathers which I’ve not noticed before in any Sooty Fox Sparrow in SF in December. Apparently very little is known about molt in Fox Sparrows, and I think I understand a little better why I love sparrows, especially in nearing winter under a grey drizzling cloud!

Russ Bright
SF

William Grant
 

Mary Stofflet observed four Fox Sparrows that were different from the Sooty subspecies at Lafayette Park recently,
They have more white on the breast. 
I have a picture of one of them.
Bill

-----Original Message-----
From: bitanangan
Sent: Dec 4, 2019 1:25 AM
To: SFBirds@groups.io
Subject: [SFBirds] Fox Sparrows at Hillpoint Park

Hi Birders,
      Birds were everywhere and abundant today in SE SF, including Hillpoint Park where there were at least 3 subspecies of Fox sparrows, including Red. This has led me on a late-night quest for further info, which has further led to varied discoveries, including an interesting Facebook page where a cascade of Fox Sparrow photos are posted with many expertly vetted. Fox Sparrows are full of puzzles and ambiguity, but you feel, as a non-professional, like you’re cutting into a mystery, digging deeper into what is, what was and what may be yet again (and again) thought a species and subspecies. I’m pretty sure about the Red, but not quite sure about what I nonetheless called a Slate-colored because it seemed more that than a Sooty—and of further obscure interest—which was also molting it’s flight feathers which I’ve not noticed before in any Sooty Fox Sparrow in SF in December. Apparently very little is known about molt in Fox Sparrows, and I think I understand a little better why I love sparrows, especially in nearing winter under a grey drizzling cloud!

Russ Bright
SF