set a feeder up in front of a window in a garden close to the house and was
surprised to see a flock
of White-crowned Sparrows scurrying through the brushy borders. After
research I found that their presence would be short lived since they were
migrating north into Canada. After doing research I found this is a flocking
bird and seeing a flock is common.(2) This is a stunning bird with really
White-crowned Sparrows will share their territories
with Fox Sparrows, but chase
and Dark-eyed Juncos
until they leave. (1)
White-Crowned Sparrows migrate across northern Canada
and the western United States where it breeds.
nest either low in bushes or on the ground under shrubs. Females build nests
out of twigs, coarse grasses, pine needles, moss, bark, and dead leaves. The
female lays 37 pale green eggs spotted with brown. Incubation is 10 14
days. The chicks are born with sparse down feathers with closed eyes. They
fledge in 8 10 days.
The White-crowned Sparrow is a large sparrow with a small bill and a long
tail. White-Crowned Sparrows are approximately 5.96.3 long and have a
wingspan of about 8-9.5. They weigh between .8 1 oz. The head can look
distinctly peaked or smooth and flat, depending on the birds attitude. The
White-Crowned Sparrow has a black-and-white head, pale beak (pink or
yellow), and crisp gray breast. The wings are brown with bars and the
under-parts are grey. They are similar in appearance to the
White-throated Sparrow but do not have the white throat
markings or yellow marking on head.
Look for White-crowned Sparrows in places where safe tangles of brush mix
with open or grassy ground for foraging. For much of the United States,
White-crowned Sparrows are most likely in winter (although two races live
year round in the West, along the coast and in the mountains). (1)
Depending on time of year (see migration below) they are residents or
transients in much of the US and Canada.
White-Crowned Sparrows migrate north to Alaska and northern Canada from
Manitoba to Newfoundland and into the western US mountain Areas (Washington
and Oregon) in the spring. Their southern migration in the fall is to
Southern US from Gulf States through to California north to New Jersey. They
are year round residents in New Mexico and Arizona.
majority of foods White-crowned Sparrows eat are seeds, grains, fruit and
insects such as caterpillars, beetles and other insects. (2)
Audubon Society Field Guide To North American