|Species: White-crowned Sparrow
sparrow breeds throughout much of Northern Canada and Alaska, as
well as British Columbia, Western Alberta, and can be found in the
states of Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, New
Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California. Four out of the five
sub-species migrate south to winter throughout much of the U.S. and
white-crowned sparrow is a large sparrow with a long tail. These
birds typically weigh between 25-29 grams and are around 16cm long.
Bold black-and-white stripes on the head and pale pink or yellow
bill, clean gray throat and breast, with a gray face and nape.
Same as male.
Head striped gray and reddish, back and wings are streaked brown,
clean gray throat and breast, with a gray face and nape.
Same as male
White throated sparrows can appear similar but have bright white
throat, mottled gray chest, brownish sides and yellow lores. Lark
sparrows have rufous cheek and crown stripes and a black spot on
Often seen foraging on the ground in open areas using the
double-scratch method to expose food under the leaf litter.
Generally they require a patchy mixture of bare ground and shrubby
areas for breeding. However, breeding habitat, which differs widely
between populations, can include boreal forest, tundra, mountain
meadows, and shrubby areas in urban centers.
During the winter,
diet consists manly of buds, grass, fruits, and invertebrates when
available. During the breeding season, diet consist manly of
invertebrates and seeds. The white-crowned sparrow produces and open
cup nest which is generally placed from ground level to 1.5m in
shrubs, but can be placed up to 2.5m off the ground in tall shrubs
or low tree branches. Clutch size generally ranges between 3 and 7
eggs. In some areas, white-crowned sparrows can produce multiple
successful nests in a single breeding season. The oldest recorded
white-crowned Sparrow was 13 years 4 months old. White crown males
can sometimes be heard singing at night time on the breeding
Sparrows are numerous and widespread.
A potential year round resident of southern British
Columbia, capture rates (2010-2012; standardized as birds
captured per 100 net hours) of White-crowned Sparrow at
Colony Farm, where habitat is ideal for this species, can be
seen throughout most of the year. Rates peak in September
during juvenile dispersal and when those migrant individuals
are preparing for their short journey south.