A medium-sized sparrow with crisp patterning. Slightly smaller than Song Sparrow, with finer streaking on breast (like a pen-and-ink drawing vs. an oil painting). Also note thin pale eyering, bright buffy breast that contrasts with white throat and belly, and often peaked crown. Breeds in thickets and shrubby clearings, usually within mixed or coniferous forests. Can be found in any brushy or weedy habitat in migration and winter. Beware of juvenile Song Sparrows in late summer, which can look buffy and show finer streaks than adults. Infrequently visits feeders.
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