It has been a few years, since living in Arizona, when I had least seen a Fox Sparrow. The other day at my patch along the Jordan River in Salt Lake City I was excited to discover this large chunky Interior West Slate-colored Fox Sparrow mingled with a flock of White-crowned Sparrows and Oregon Dark-eyed Juncos. They really do look large when compared side by side with the other sparrows. My favorite feature of the Fox Sparrow is the triangle-shaped breast markings.
I went back to the same area the next day, this time armed with my camera, and was delighted to find the Fox Sparrow still there, but this time hanging out with American Robins. Normally it stays hunkered down in the thickest part of the underbrush, but lucky for me it flitted up to this branch for a few seconds and I just held the shutter button down and rapid-fired away.
The Fox Sparrow is reported on less the 10% of the checklists submitted to eBird in Utah during Spring and Summer (Thanks for the eBird stat correction Ryan!). They are occasionally seen in Idaho, but I never was fortunate enough to see one there. I saw Fox Sparrows seven times in Arizona, but hadn't yet learned to appreciate them as I was so new to birding. Absence does indeed make the heart grown fonder.