golden-crowned sparrow

Zonotrichia atricapilla

Summary 3

The Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) is a large American sparrow with a short stout bill and a long tail. Golden-crowned Sparrows are streaked brown on their backs and wings and gray on their chest and bellies. As ours are only winter visitors, their crowns are dark brown with a yellow forehead (in breeding, the crown is black).

For an example of their sounds:

Similar species Song Sparrows are smaller, reddish-brown and gray overall, with dark-streaked underparts.

White-crowned Sparrow have a white patch on their head and more contrast in their head markings. Their bill is orange - pink rather than dull gray.

Where on campus? 4

Golden-crowned Sparrows are seen in late Fall and Winter foraging along the edges of the campus along Adobe Creek and in the California Native Plant Garden. They are frequently seen in mixed-species flocks with other sparrows inclduing White-crowned sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.

Habitat 4

In the winter, Golden-crowned Sparrows are found in weedy areas, chaparral, backyards, and along forest edges. In summer, they are found in tundra and boreal forests in Alaska and Canada.

Life History Traits. 4

Nesting Females build the nests on the ground out of vegetation and animal fur and feathers. It is thought that they are monogamous, but they have been observed cheating.

Feeding Golden-crowned Sparrows are eat a wide variety of plant material including seeds, berries, buds, flowers as well as a variety of arthropods.

Distribution 4

Golden-crowned Sparrows are found in Alaska, Western Canada and the along the West Coast of the U.S.

Migration 4

Golden-crowned Sparrows are long distance migrants and breed in Alaska and northern Canada and Winter along the West Coast of the United States.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Terry & Julie, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Susan Middleton, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  3. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  4. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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