Cassin's Sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) - 18 August 2011. Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Cochise County,
These drab sparrows are common in the high desert grasslands. Their breeding is bimodal with a short nesting season in the Spring followed by another nesting in the late summer when the "Monsoon Season" provides rain and turns the grass green. This species is almost identical to the sympatric Botteri's Sparrow (Peucaea botterii). They are best identified by song, but here you can see the lightly streaked flanks which are missing on Botteri's.
Both were formerly classified in the genus Aimophila but were moved to Peucaea (pronounced pyou-SEE-ah) by the AOU in the 51st supplement published July 2010.
Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope III | 30XWA | hand-held (no adapter)