This gallery contains 3 photos. The browner cousin of the Song Sparrow (for whom he can be mistaken), the Sooty Fox Sparrow is the largest sparrow to visit the backyard. He puts in cameos — like the House Finch (although those invariably come in “he-and-she” pairs).
The Sooty Fox Sparrow is second in size only to the Harris’s Sparrow, the largest sparrow in North America (which are extremely rare to see as they are birds of Northern and Central Canada).
The things that single out the Sooty Fox Sparrow (one of four colour variants of the Fox Sparrow) from the Song Sparrow are its yellow beak, and a head that lacks eye and crown stripes).
The Fox Sparrow is a bit of a a solo act. We’ve never spotted more than one, and he’s usually industriously kicking over leaves under the bushes. If he ventures out to pick at the fallen seed or visit the seed bowls (rarely), he’s usually there for a good long feed. Getting stills of him, however, is challenging, as he’s rarely still.