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Rufous-crowned Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Aimophila ruficeps
Photo by digishooter
Wofford Hts., Kern County, California, April, 2007


Gray head with rufous crown, marked white eye-ring, rufous line behind the eye, dark moustachial and malar stripes on sides of face. Gray-brown above, underparts gray, long-tail.
Legs and feet pink,.


Photo by digishooter
Wofford Hts., Kern County, California, August, 2006

California, south into northern Baja California, also mountains on southern tip of Baja California; Arizona, New Mexico, north and central Texas, northwest and central Oklahoma, west and central Mexico.



This is a polytypic species which consists of twelve subspecies[1]:

  • A. r. ruficeps: Coastal ranges of central California and western slopes of Sierra Nevada
  • A. r. canescens: South-western California and north-eastern Baja California (east to base of San Pedro Mártir)
  • A. r. obscura: Channel Islands (Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Catalina)
  • A. r. sanctorum: Todos Santos Islands (off north-western Baja California)
  • A. r. sororia: Mountains of southern Baja California (Sierra de la Laguna)
  • A. r. scottii: Northern Arizona to New Mexico, north-eastern Sonora and north-western Coahuila
  • A. r. rupicola: Mountains of south-western Arizona
  • A. r. simulans: North-western Mexico (south-eastern Sonora and south-western Chihuahua to Nayarit and northern Jalisco)
  • A. r. eremoeca: South-eastern Colorado to New Mexico, Texas, northern Chihuahua and central Coahuila
  • A. r. fusca: Western Mexico (southern Nayarit to south-western Jalisco, northern Colima and Michoacán)
  • A. r. boucardi: Eastern Mexico (southern Coahuila to San Luis Potosí, northern Puebla and south Oaxaca)
  • A. r. australis: Southern Mexico (Guerrero to southern Puebla and Oaxaca)


Rocky, brushy slopes, hillsides and canyons.


A secretive sparrow, most often only heard.


Song: a bubbling series of chip notes, similar to a House Wren.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

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