Back when I got my first pair of binoculars and began looking at birds up close, I recall studying this species at length. I was pretty sure I was seeing a sparrow, but my bird book had so many different sparrows to choose from! Today I know this bird as a female House Sparrow. You can find flocks of them in suburban hedge rows, around barns and farms, in parking lots, and even inside some big box stores.
For more on this species, read Sorting the Sparrows: House Sparrow (male).