Erika and I kicked up about a dozen Swamp Sparrows on Monday as we strolled along the Jefferson Parkway Wetlands in eastern Northfield. Mowbray (1997) writes that this sparrow is “common, if elusive and local” across eastern North America, breeding from Canada to our northern states. As far as Swamp Sparrows go, this individual is remarkably handsome. I usually think of Swamp Sparrows as duskier-plumaged birds. Since they molt on their breeding grounds, I suspect this is a freshly molted bird in its first-basic plumage.