'Sooty' Fox Sparrow - Granite Basin (Yav.)
23 Sep 2009, 11:18 AM,
'Sooty' Fox Sparrow - Granite Basin (Yav.)
At about 1700, 22nd September, 2009, a Fox Sparrow was glimpsed through dense shrubbery at Granite Basin.

Obscured observations were made at the westernmost large willow shrub along the north side of the wash west of Granite Basin lake (where I observed Fox Sparrow last year).
This seems like a very dark bird with fairly uniform coloration on upper body including the tail feathers. The underside was seen to be heavily streaked with dark plumage on a very light background. Very little if any yellow was noticed on the beak/lower mandible. Though observational conditions were difficult, I'm willing to conclude that the bird is of one of the dark "sooty" species/subspecies.

The overabundance of overgrown sweet clover makes it impossible to move stealthily in the area. Also, this bird can really hunker down.

Last I saw, this species/subspecies is a rare review bird for the Arizona Bird Committee. C. S. Tomoff lists Fox Sparrow as rare as transient and in winter for the area.

David Moll.

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