Apparent intergrade "Sooty" x "Red" Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca), Mt. Ord, Maricopa County
apparent intergrade "Sooty" x "Red" Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) was
found and photographed by Eric Hough on 04 and 06 March 2015
Fox Sparrows are generally divided into four groups containing several subspecies each. Most of the Fox Sparrows that occur in Arizona during winter and migration are of the
"Slate-colored" group, with birds of the 'Red' group
being rare but regular and the other two groups ("Sooty" and
"Thick-billed") with three and two records for Arizona,
respectively. Apparent intergrades between the "Sooty"
and "Red" groups are rarely reported from the Pacific
Northwest, and there are no records for Arizona.
This bird has the mostly yellow bill, uniform coloration, and facial pattern consistent with birds of the
"Sooty" Fox Sparrow group, but the clean white undertail coverts contrasting with streaks (rather than blurry dusky coloration), hint of thin white wing bars,
crisp chevrons on the underparts without blurry streaking
on the flanks and breast, and accentuated reddish coloration suggest a cross with the
"Red" group (fide Steve Mlodinow).
Audio recordings were obtained of this bird which can be found on Xeno-canto
04 March 2015, photo by Eric HoughAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 23 March 2015