During a dog walk, I noted a couple of neat-looking little brown sparrow-type birds pecking at the ground. Their markings were nicely defined, and they had a reddish/brown cap, a black line through the eye and white bit above. When I got back home, I consulted my bird book. There were several sparrows with reddish caps, but the well-defined eye markings suggested that this was a breeding chipping sparrow. Distribution charts helped as well. A couple of the other red-capped candidates weren't common to this area.
We do have more exotic and colorful birds here in Atlanta--cardinals, towhees, bluebirds, blue jays, and many others. But "little brown birds" always pose an interesting i-d challenge.
I live in Atlanta in an in-town neighborhood with a small park and lots of trees, so we get a nice selection of birds. I often hear them before I see them, and I find birds' songs very interesting. I hope to learn to identify by them by song, but this hasn't been easy so far. It surprises me that quite small birds can make such loud songs! They tend to fly away before I can get a picture. Sometimes I think they are teasing me!