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White-Crowned Sparrow - Winter Migrant from the North and West

The White-Crowned commonly breeds in the North and West, but rarely in the East. They sojourn everywhere in Winter. It is a slighty larger Sparrow than most (seven inches) and can be distinguished from the smaller White-Throated Sparrow by its orange beak and lack of yellow spot at the eyes. The White-Crowned summers in the far North or mountains, although some live along the Pacific Coast all year.1

This handsome Sparrow is primarily a seed and berry eater, supplemented by a good number of insects for its young. Its nest is a cup of grass, twigs, feathers, bark, and animal hair on the ground in a shallow depression, usually at the base of a shrub or grass clump.2 Both parents feed nestlings. The White-Crown's song is whistled and buzzy notes. They like to sing at night. Look for them this winter.

1. Kenn Kofman, Birds of North America, (Houghton-Mifflin Company: New York, 2000), Pg. 350
2. Kenn Kofman, Lives of North American Birds, (Houghton-Mifflin Company: Boston-New York, 1996), Pg. 606


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