While here in LaGrangeville, NY, I drove one of my granddaughters to soccer practice in Freedom Plains earlier this week. I usually take the opportunity to walk the path around a nearby pond. This area was previously open farmland. I took the picture below and have enlarged it to show the bird's markings. The best match I can find is a Lark Sparrow. Whatbird.com does not show this bird being on the East Coast. Wikpedia states that the Lark Sparrow is "less" common on the East Coast. LaGrangeville is approximately 80 miles north of New York City. If you recognize this bird as something other than a Lark Sparrow, please let me know.
On the same evening, I saw four male Mallards trying to get near a white duck, which really looked like a domestic farm bird. There was one that stayed very close. As I walked the oval path around the pond, I met a woman who was very concerned about all the males following the white duck. She related that since the domestic bird, which she named Aflack, could not fly, she fed her all winter. Also, this woman had tried to get someone to rescue the duck, but to no avail. The Mallard shown hanging around the white duck had apparently been her partner all winter. The woman named him Dooney. This evening was quite chilly for a Californian and the Red-wing Blackbirds seemed to feel that way too, as their feathers seemed very fluffy. On the other hand, the Robin Red-Breast didn't seem to mind the cold at all.