This sparrow is distinguished by its overall large size, long tail, and pink bill. Upperparts are buffy brown with dark streaks on the back and two narrow white wing bars. Underparts are white with dark streaks on the sides and flanks. In alternate plumage, the crown, lores, throat, and upper breast are black. The face is gray with a black edge on the rear of the auriculars. In basic plumage, the face is buffy brown and may look somewhat golden, with an indistinct brown chevron bordering the back of the auriculars, and the amount of black on the crown and upper breast is greatly reduced. First winter birds have white throats and very limited black on the crown and upper breast. Juveniles are buffier overall, with blackish streaks on the crown, a white throat, and extensive streaking on the underparts.
Length: 17 (cm) Wingspan: 26 (cm)
Song is a series of two or three high clear whistles, all on the same pitch.
Nests in forest/tundra transition zone. Winters in brushy fields, hedgerows, riparian corridors.
Forages for seeds, insects, fruit, buds, and young conifer needles, usually on or close to the ground.
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