Photos by my sister Mary, taken in Virginia over Christmas:
Wanted: experienced bird ID expert to help with this (probably oh-so-easy) identification! My first thought was female bunting, probably Indigo, but I'm just not satisfied that's right. Click on the pics to make them huge.
UPDATE: John from DC Birding Blog mentioned my other thought, Eastern Towhee--the shape is a dead match--but the coloring is so subdued, and there's no white on the belly. Sibley shows the male and female towhees with darker brown/black plumage, darker orange on the sides of the belly, and white on the belly itself. Is this some sort of pale juvenile?