thought it might be a mutated sparrow

by rebecca
(shawnee oklahoma)

it is the size of a cardinal with the coloring of a sparrow but spotted or broken stripes over the stomach and back. it has 2 cream or white stripes around the eyes that go over the rounded head and separated cream or white stripes down each side of the back. it walks rather than hops and eats smaller seeds or cracked corn like a sparrow. its beak is shaped like a sparrow. it was later joined by perhaps a dozen like it. is it some sort of thrush?

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Mar 17, 2018
thought it might be a mutated sparrow
by: becky

thank you, Roma, for your continued interest. I'm sorry I;='ve not gotten back to you sooner. I've been very busy with various life matters so, I've paid very little attention to my email. I can see why you've suggested the last bird. my bird looks quite a bit like it, but it is still not right. thank you for your efforts though.

Mar 09, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

hi becky, could it be a eurasian lark?

Mar 03, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

hi becky, this us a wild guess, but could it be a snow bunting? it has a lovely pattern.

Feb 12, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

hi becky, thanks for responding so quickly..if you saw it on the web, that,s a photo that would help. do you remember the web address?

Feb 10, 2018
reply to thought it was a muted sparrow
by: becky

thanx for responding. no, it is not any of those birds. the frustrating thing is I have found a picture of one on the web, but it did not identify the bird. I bet it is a very common bird, though if they are I would think I would see more pics of them. I've just never noticed them before. they are much prettier than I thought bc of their intricate patterns, esp on their wings. I've become a great admirer of theirs because they are like a piece of art instead of blending un-noticed in to the background with other birds of like color. I'll just keep looking-and admiring. thank you so much for your interest. I do appreciate it.

Feb 08, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

hi rebecca, first of all, you have a spectacular environment for birds, birders can make this a site to visit.

i have an idea, maybe you could look at sandpipers and plovers, these birds walk and i recently learned they can be found far from the coast. but i don,t know which one, and i only have a western guide. maybe they migrate in winter to avoid the violent waves of ocean storms.

Jan 21, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

hi rebecca, now i,m getting confused, but here are some names of birds if approximate sze: gray crowned rosy finch, pine grosbeak--i put these in because of the blush you mentioned, keep in mind some birds plumage is quite different in winter.sage thrasher, rusty blackbird, brown towhee, lapland longspur, white crowned sparrow, harris sparrow. probably not but worth a look, that,s all i have in my field guide if western birds. good luck!

Jan 20, 2018
reply to thought it was a muted sparrow
by: rebecca

hi Brooke, I'm not trying to be rude. I did reply to your geography questions twice, but they never posted. so, one more time. I am tucked away in a rolling hill country setting abt 2 blocks from a main road in a city of approx. 40,000 people. there is an overgrown city lot full of grass seed between me and a creek that has water year round. abt 3 blocks from here is the north Canadian river with lots of overgrown vegetation and trees starting 1 block from my house. though there are houses around, I am pretty much surrounded by empty lots. the trees are cottonwood, oak, cedar, what looks like old aspen on the banks of the creek, what we call bean trees-long green seed pods look like beans, mulberry, peach and ornamental pear, black walnut. the large pyramid shaped evergreen trees are covered in rose and honeysuckle vines in the summer. I don't know of any neighbors who actually feed the birds. though I am in the city, there is an amazing diversity of wildlife including insects for the birds and bats. except for the bitter cold these last 2-3 weeks, I have seen many robins-which normally migrate during winter months. since I did not set out the feeders close to my house until this winter because the winters have be relatively mild the last few years, I don't know if the birds I'm asking about are migratory or not. plz check out the response to Roma's inquiry that I wrote this morning. thank you for your interest. I appreciate it. becky

Jan 20, 2018
reply to thought it was a muted sparrow
by: Anonymous

I forgot to tell you, Brooke, that Audubon did get back with me. they thought it might be Lincoln, vesper or song sparrow or crossbill. I have those sparrows and more, but its not them, or the crossbill. remember the size is the same as a cardinal and they walk instead of hop. the one that seemed to have a more needle point beak that I told Roma about was viewed from its side for quite some time. what would look like a female grosbeak, with the blush on the chest and the beak, since I've never seen one here and don't see a male around to verify? that is the one I saw on my front porch railing with otherwise the same markings as the others.

Jan 20, 2018
reply to thought it was a muted sparrow
by: Anonymous

hi Roma, I looked up quails and bobwhite. it is not them. the one on my front porch looked like a female grosbeak with a slight blush on its breast and its beak was like a grosbeak, but wouldn't there be a male close by? I've never seen a grosbeak here or anywhere. I don't know if I am observing 2 species or not since the ones on my deck had the same coloring as a female grosbeak but no blush and one looked like its beak was more needle point.

Jan 14, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

hi becky, did you find the bird? i wish i could see one, but i have an idea. could you ck local quails and look at the bobwhite? they travel in groups, and eat seeds, and are about the size of cardinals.

Jan 11, 2018
thought it might be a mutated sparrow
by: Brook

Were able to Audubon Society?

If you are still here and looking for the bird. give me and idea of the geography where you live, ie is there a river with 20 miles, what kind of trees you have, are you right in the city or more suburban? Is there apark nearby, do other people feed the birds.................anything you can possibly think of and I will look again.

I honestly think Audubon S is your best bet, they know a lot more than we do here. I'm from Oregon and Roma said somewhere in the west too and the birds we have here are very different from what you have there, the people at OK Audubon know about the birds in yogerbilur area.

Jan 10, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

sorry i could not help you, but perhaps you could look at other prairie birds, or maybe mexican birds.

whatever they are, enjoy!

Jan 08, 2018
reply to thought it was a muted sparrow
by: becky

thanks for the input, Roma, but I checked out the horned lark. there really is no simiarity

Jan 08, 2018
mutated sparrow
by: roma

i think you have horned larks, a prairie bird. the horns are hard to see. they are the same size as cardinals, and in winter eat seeds and ground insects, same as cardinals. being prairie birds they walk or run for their food.

some birds have duller plumage in the winter, yellow rumped warblers turn brown, only their rumps remain bright yellow. these birds have dark tail feathers edged with white. i hope thus helps, most perching birds hop.

Jan 08, 2018
feeding with cardinals
by: roma

i think you have horned larks. the horns are hard to see, but they are prairie birds. they are about the same as cardinals and walk and run for their food, in winter this is seeds and ground insects, same as cardinals. some birds get duller plumage in the winter, so might not march the field guide.

their tail feathers are outlined in white. i hope this helps.

Jan 03, 2018
thought it might be a mutated sparrow
by: Brook

Hello Again,

You are right about tail feathers. I was trying to remember the scientific name for the wing feathers that might be white and for some reason wrote "tail feathers". They WOULD NOT be tail feathers but I am thinking the white was on the edge of the wing and not on the back of the bird.

The behavior of a bird is very important in ID.

Good luck

Jan 02, 2018
thought it might be a mutated sparrow
by: Anonymous

Happy New Year, and may God grant countless blessings and favor to both of you and yours all year long.
thank you both for your interest. I will certainly look into the Audubon society. Thank your for your over the top efforts. It would help if I had a better phone to take pictures. I know it is difficult to identify something blindly. Like a good mystery, you both have given me good leads to follow. I'm not sure I understand the connection between tail feathers and the stripes down the back. The stripes are parallel to the spine and, if I remember right, do not extend into the tail. they are defiantly as big as a cardinal, as I had an opportunity to observe them next to a female cardinal. Perhaps their habits will help identify them as the first one appeared quite some time before it flew away. I assume it arrived a bit later with its group, and for the most part they seemed to be ground feeders. Anyway, I want to thank you, again. I presume this will not be a mystery for long.

Jan 01, 2018
hought it might be a mutated sparow
by: Brook

Happy New 2018 Rebecca,
The bird that Roma mentioned doesn't fit the description you gave of the birds you saw. The white line down each side of their back would be a tail feather, and the stripe you speak of that is over the eye sounds like they might have a crown of a slightly different color.

I have spent quite some time online looking for the bird and can't find it. I see that you are only 50 miles from the nearest Audubon Society and they should be able to tell you what the bird is, then you can search for, "a picture of (enter the species here)"
here is the number for Audubon: 405-387-5835
I hope this helps, enjoy your birds and come back if you have other birds you need help with, just be sure you fill in your email box at the end and click the box to get any more notifications on it

Jan 01, 2018
thrush?
by: roma

dear rebecca, i don,t think it is a thrush, their bills are narrower. but there are many types of sparrows and finchs that have bills similiar to the english (house) sparrow, especially the females. also, a female lark bunting that have speckled or striped breasts. in my area, the female house finch is the same size and color as the house sparrow, and the striped or patterned breast is the only way i can tell them apart, and they feed together.

i couldn.t find one in my western field guide that exactly matchs your description, perhaps it,s in an eastern field guide.

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