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.