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Location: Waterfront, Nelson, Central Kootenay. I believe the bird in question is a Lincoln's Sparrow, but my caution stems from the fact that I have some queries over field marks, compounded by the fact that this would be a very late record.

The first four photos show what looks like the bird in question. Fifth is a comparative with one of the Song Sparrow at the same spot, so in the same lighting conditions.

There is an indication of a buffy wash across the breast, though it's not that pronounced, especially on the flanks. Streaking seems slightly thicker and less 'crisp' than might be expected. I cannot discern any yellow at the base of the lower mandible although that might be just the light. The tail does not appear to be shorter than the Song Sparrow and the bill just doesn't look quite right for Lincoln's, perhaps a tiny bit too thick at the base. The legs look very pink, but I don't know if this is that useful in separating the two species. Check out the eye-ring too, it doesn't seem to be as clear as one would hope for.

What does appear to be evident is a general coloring which is overall a lot lighter than the Song Sparrow; the buffy-cream mustache stripe; a small patch of light tan at the lores; considerable tan in the primaries; and a more dense darker breast spot than might be expected in the Song Sparrow. But when I saw it just didn't leap out at me as a Lincoln's...maybe I am being too cautious here.

The bird behaved exactly as did two accompanying Song Sparrow, foraging on the ground with a tail often held slightly cocked, quickly flicked upwards occasionally (when foraging), and sharp, fidgety movements from spot to spot. I was able to approach to within 10 metres. Evasive behaviour was the same too: initially hopping warily, then running, or taking a long hop or short flight into cover, staying just out of view but not skulking in dense cover, returning to the ground quickly once the perceived threat had passed. There was no vocalisation.



ImageDSCN0291 by riotambopata, on Flickr
ImageDSCN0296 by riotambopata, on Flickr
ImageDSCN0299 by riotambopata, on Flickr
ImageDSCN0283 by riotambopata, on Flickr
ImageDSCN0303 by riotambopata, on Flickr
Thanks northvanrob; my regional eBird reviewer disagrees and is tagging it as Song Sparrow, suggesting it may be a first-year of a ssp. not generally seen in our area . He's more an expert than I, but I'd love anyone else's opinion.
Thing is Eastern Song Sparrows are Reddish and white like this photo in All about birds! ... 1280px.jpg

Where your Lincoln's Sparrow has that nice buffy wash and finer streaks than a eastern Song Sparrow!

Compare your photo to this! ... w/64984571

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