White-Crowned Sparrow

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Zonotrichia Leucophrys 

White-Crowned Sparrow

Adults have unmarked ash-gray sides of head, throat, and breast, becoming white on the belly, and pale brownish- buff on flanks, the head pattern is striking with bright white median crown- stripe and supercilium, black crown sides, eye-stripe, and lores.

White-crown feathers often fluffed up into a low ruffled dome. Legs are brown to pink and their eyes are dark.

Both sexes are similar but males are slightly larger.

BILL: small, orange to yellow or pinkish.

SIZE: measures about 6 - 6.3 inches in length, with a wingspan of 8.3 - 9.4 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 25 - 28 grams.

COLOR: ash-gray, white, brownish-buff, black, brown and pink.

Seeds, buds, grass, and fruit.

Wide variety of shrubby habitats, including open woodlands, bushy thickets, stunted conifers, bushy tundra, mountain shrubbery, parks, and gardens.

BREEDS: Alaska eastward across northern Canada, and southward along the Pacific coast, and in the western mountains to southern California and northern New Mexico.

WINTER: Southern British Columbia eastward to southern Michigan and southern New York, southward to the Gulf Coast and Central Mexico.

CALL: includes an abrupt, rather metallic “chink” or “pink”, and a thin, high ‘tseep”.

SONG: is variable, with one or two clear whistled notes, followed by two or three drier, and often more trilled notes.

NEST: The female builds a cup-shaped nest, made of small sticks, bark, grass, pine needles or dry leaves, and lined with fine grass stems, sedge and hair an place it in shrubs or on the ground.

EGGS: 3 - 7 greenish-blue with reddish-brown spots.

INCUBATION: 12 days, female.

They forage on the ground or in low vegetation, but sometimes make short flights to catch flying insects.

The oldest recorded White-crowned Sparrow lived in California and was at least 13 years, 4 months old.

White-Crowned Sparrow Infographic




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