|Species: Golden Crowned Sparrow
One of our largest
sparrows closely resembles White-crowned Sparrow but in place of
head stripes has a black bordered dull golden-yellow median crown
stripe. They range from alpine meadows of the far northwestern coast
of Alaska and British Columbia extending across the northern most
Rockies. Migratory along the Pacific Coast from southern B.C. to
Golden-crowned Sparrow is a medium-sized sparrow measuring 6” – 7’
and slightly larger than the closely related White-crowned Sparrow.
Habitat preferences are different with Golden-crowned preferring
alpine meadows and coniferous trees whereas the White-crowned
sparrow prefers more shrubby thickets and forest edges.
Brown above with
gray unstreaked breast, cheek and collar, two white wing bars Bill
dark above, pale below. Distinctive black bordered dull
golden-yellow median crown stripe.
|Length: 6 – 7 “ (15 –
Weight: 1 oz (29g)
Adult distinctive with extensive black on head. Male’s golden crown
is bordered by a wide black cap.
Similar to male.
Immature similar to White-crowned but grayer overall with a pale
throat. Fall immature have two dark-brown stripes with dusky
yellowish central area and a trace of mustache stripe.
Immature White-crowned has buffy median crown stripe not yellow,
eyebrow line buffy, bill pink or yellowish.
Similar to White-crowned sparrow as it forages on ground. Can puff
forest, boreal scrubs, dwarf willows in breeding season and in
winter or migration they spend their time in dense shrubbery, edges
and thickets like the White crowned Sparrow.
Crown pattern takes
several years to develop.
The Golden-crowned Sparrow is a winter resident of Colony
Farm. Subsequently, capture rates (2010-2012; standardized
as birds captured per 100 net hours) begin in fall and peak
in winter. Smaller capture rates occur in spring as birds
migrate to higher and/or more northerly habitats.