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Rufous-winged sparrow        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Rufous-winged sparrows are one of the 'specialties' of southeastern Arizona, which is the only place in the US where they regularly occur (they have a substantial range farther south in Mexico).   They are small, long-tailed desert birds with a simple descending trill song.   The bright rusty 'shoulders' (secondary coverts) that give the species its common name are often not visible, and can be seen in just a couple of these images.   However, these attractive sparrows are easily identified from their clear breasts, brownish backs with black streaks, heavily streaked rusty caps, rusty eyeline, and black malar stripes.  Their head patterns are rather similar to that of the rufous-crowned sparrow.   I took the pictures near Green Valley, Arizona.

  • Canon 1D4, 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2011, 2012, 2013)