This bright sparrow has multiple disjunct populations; inland breeders are generally brighter than coastal breeders. Atlantic birds have a duller buffy face and breast with blurry gray streaking; Interior birds are brighter orange with crisper black streaking. Similar to Saltmarsh Sparrow but shows less contrast between the face, throat, and breast and has a shorter blue-gray bill. Inland birds can be confused with LeConte's Sparrow but note clean gray nape and gray, not white, stripe in crown. Conspicuous when singing, otherwise secretive. Its song is a simple hiss like water sizzling in a frying pan. Winters in coastal marshes along most of Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coast.