Fifty Shades of Brown – The Fox Sparrow Diaries

The Fox Sparrow, (Passerella iliaca spp. unalaschensis), is the quintessential LBJ (little brown job) of birds. They are described in The Birds of North America series as “generally brown” and “flanks have rufous to sooty brown streaks”, “wings, upper tail coverts, and rectrices are rufous to dark sooty brown”, “upper mandible is blackish brown, feet and legs are pinkish brown to reddish brown, iris is dark brown to reddish brown”,…well you get the picture!

Over the next few years we will be giving some local Fox Sparrows a bit of splash by placing color bands on birds near the Shoreline Community College and Shoreview Park. This spot of color will help us identify individuals and track their presence for a multi-year, wintering habitat study.

Weekly surveys are currently being conducted and color-banding kicks off this Sunday, March 2, 2014. Contact Cindy Easterson at for details about how to get involved in this exciting study. Be sure to continue to check this blog to see how the study is progressing.

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