Nature Journal
with Photos

Chipping Sparrow Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Dark, conical bill
- Rusty crown
- White supercilium and black eyeline
- Gray face and underparts
- Tan back with dark streaks
- Brown wings with wing bars
- Gray rump
- Slim, forked tail
- Sexes similar
- Fall and Winter plumage has different head pattern:
  brown crown with fine dark streaks and pale median
  crown stripe, buff supercilium, pale bill with dark tip
  and brownish cheeks
- Juvenile plumage (Summer and Fall) similar to Winter
  but duller with streaked underparts

Similar species
Chipping Sparrows are similar to other sparrows with rusty crowns but have a white supercilium and black eye line in Spring and Summer.

Field Sparrow has a pink bill and white eye ring. Swamp Sparrow has rusty wings and a dingy breast. American Tree Sparrow has a dark breast spot.

In Fall and Winter, Chipping Sparrows are quite similar to Clay-colored and Brewer's Sparrows. Often, they retain some rust in the crown and can be identified by that field mark. Clay-colored and Brewer's Sparrows have pale lores and brown rumps. Clay-colored Sparrow has more distinct whisker and a buffier breast. Brewer's Sparrow has an indistinct supercilium and an eye ring.
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