The dull sparrow named for John Cassin, a Philadelphia ornithologist, is far more often heard than seen. That is until breeding season when males sing from either a song perch like a cholla cactus or by skylarking. When skylarking these sparrows are easy to see as they flutter their wings as they drift towards the ground trying to attract a mate. Although described as a dull sparrow, a closer examination proves the opposite to be true, the beauty subtle, not bold. This bird is a Chico specialty and numbers vary from year to year. They are back in the cholla grassland, the males heard from some distance away.