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Golden-crowned Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 20:54, 11 April 2023 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (→‎External Links: New combined GSearch. GSearch checked template)
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Adult breeding plumage
Photo © by janruss.
Edmonds, Washington, 12 May 2006
Zonotrichia atricapilla


Non-breeding plumage
Photo © by digishooter
Wofford Heights, Kern County, California, USA, 28 November 2009

6-7" (15-18 cm)
Male's gold crown bordered by wide black cap. Dusky bill. Brown above, with unstreaked gray breast, cheek, and collar; 2 white wing bars. Fall immatures have 2 dark brown crown stripes with dusky yellowish central area and a trace of "moustache" stripe.

Similar Species

Photo © by ducbucln
Kelseyville, California, USA, 1 October 2013

Similar to White-crowned Sparrow.


First Winter Plumage
Photo © by kegressy
Whitby, Ontario, Canada, 16 November 2004

Breeds from western Alaska south through Yukon Territory to northwestern Washington. Winters from Kodiak Island and coastal Alaska south to Baja California. Accidental vagrant to Japan.


Photo © by marcsantacurz
Long Marine Lab, Santa Cruz, California, USA, 22 October 2018

This is a monotypic species[1].


Alpine meadows and coniferous forest clearings; winters in coastal brushland and chaparral.



Nesting: 4 or 5 bluish, speckled eggs in a neat cup nest well hidden in a dense weed clump or bush.


There is little information, but they are known to eat seeds, fruit and insects.


Song: consists of 3 descending plaintive notes sounding like "oh, dear me".
Calls: are tseet and chink.


Migrates primarily along coastal slope and river valleys. During their first winter, individuals fix on a wintering area and return to it in subsequent years.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BirdForum Member observations
  3. Rising, J. (2020). Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/61914 on 4 May 2020).
  4. Norment, C. J., P. Hendricks, and R. Santonocito (2020). Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.gocspa.01
  5. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2019. All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. https://www.allaboutbirds.org Accessed on 4 May 2020

Recommended Citation

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