FIELD IDENTIFICATION: The Savannah Sparrow's key field marks include: streaked breast, dark malar, yellow on the supercilium (amount and brightness varies with the individual), streaked crown with whitish median crown stripe, and notched tail. Individuals vary in the boldness of their plumage.
The similar Song Sparrow has a longer, rounded tail, no yellow on the supercilium, and a different shaped head. The Lincoln's Sparrow has finer streaking on the breast and flanks (with a buffy background), yellowish malar (submoustachial stripe), and gray supercilium. The Vesper Sparrow has a white eyering, and its plumage seems to be two-toned (gray-brown and whitish). It also lacks the distinct median crown stripe.
Field I.D. by Claire Curry
Photo by Claire Curry, March 2001
Sketched in pencil by Claire Curry (Summer 2000)