I have a sparrow that has been driving me nuts on my surveys the last week. I tried turning it in to every other bird but have finally landed on a field sparrow. The bird perches on a bush that is not part of my survey property, so I can't just walk out. Plus, I'm supposed to be monitoring other birds and can only do so much with a non survey species. Yesterday, I tried playing a field sparrow call to get the bird to fly over. It didn't but a neighboring field sparrow did. Then, I tried playing a clay-colored sparrow call and the bird flew over--and it doesn't sound like a clay-colored at all. So, is this a young field sparrow working on his sound? A really hoarse field sparrow that has been singing like crazy all summer? Or is a hybrid field sparrow/clay-colored sparrow. They have been known to occur. Here's a video of a hybrid singing.
I may have to drive down to the survey area on my own time and see if I can get a photo. The few times the bird has flown by and not hidden itself in foliage, it looked like a field sparrow. Anyway, here are a few videos of the bird singing: