White-crowned Sparrow

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White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

White-crowned Sparrow

From tail-tip to beak, this perky flyer is 7 inches long and looks like the white-throated sparrow, but the latter has a yellow spot beside its eyes.   White-crown breeds in the high country of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and the Pacific coast; it winters in the southern half of the United States and in northern Mexico.

This beautiful sparrow is numerous in the West, but rather rare elsewhere, so watch for it carefully if you're in the East, for it is shy and retiring there.  But the white-crown is bolder and more conspicuous in the Far West, often frequenting gardens, parks, and yards.  Like most sparrows, it is a seed eater by preference--it appears readily at sheltered feeding stations.  Insects comprise less than 10 percent of its diet.


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