Unique sparrow with incredible variation between populations. Generally patterned with gray, white, and shades of tan. All have pinkish bills and white outer tail feathers. Juveniles are streaky. Breeds in a variety of forested habitats, especially with conifers. Found in any wooded habitat in the winter, often in flocks. Usually forages on the ground for seeds, but also fond of brushy thickets or weedy fields. Visits feeders. Subspecies include: Slate-colored (widespread), Oregon (West), Pink-sided (Rockies), Gray-headed (Rockies and southwest U.S. to Mexico), Red-backed (central Arizona and New Mexico), and White-winged (breeds in Black Hills, winters mainly Colorado).
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