The Clay-colored Sparrow forages on the ground, and often in a mixed flock.
Brown crown with dark streaks and pale central stripe. Brown cheeks bordered by black. Pale malar streak with dark whisker. White supercilium. Pale, conical bill with dark tip. Gray hindneck. Pale underparts. Tan back with dark streaks. Brown wings with wing bars. Brown rump. Slim, forked tail. Immature birds (Fall) are similar to adult, but have buffy breast, malar streak and supercilium. Juveniles (Summer) are similar to immature, but are duller with streaked underparts. Sexes similar. 5 to 5.5 inches in length.
Brushy grasslands and prairies.
3-5 pale blue eggs with dark brown spots. The eggs have a 10-12 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 8-9 days. The nest is an open cup of grass, weeds, and twigs, lined with rootlets, fine grass and hair. The nest is built in on the ground or in a low shrub, up to 6 feet above the ground.
- Community gardens, Tijuana River Valley