White-crowned Sparrow

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image: wcsparrow.jpg

Common Name: White-crowned Sparrow

Scientific Name: Zonotrichia leucophrys

Size: 6 inches (15-16cm)

Habitat: North America; Summers in the United States and Mexico, and winters in Canada. Breeds in tundra, boreal forest, and alpine meadows over most of range. On West Coast is found in suburban areas and near the ocean in areas with bare ground and shrubs.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 70,000,000 Mature individuals. Widespread; May be declining in some areas in western United States.

Diet: Seed, buds and insects. Feeds primarily on ground. Scratches in litter with both feet.

Breeding: Three to seven eggs are laid in a loose cup nest found in a low shrub or on the ground.

Cool Facts: A young male White-crowned Sparrow learns the basics of the song it will sing as an adult during the first two or three months of its life. It does not learn directly from its father, but rather from the generalized song environment of its natal neighborhood. Because male White-crowned Sparrows learn the songs they grew up with and do not travel far from where they were raised, song dialects frequently form. Males on the edge of two dialects may be bilingual and able to sing both dialects.

Four of the five subspecies of White-crowned Sparrows are migratory. The sedentary race lives in a very narrow band along the California coast. The most widespread race, breeding across northern Canada and wintering in the eastern United States, is the least-studied and least well known of all the races.

Found in Songbird Remix Cool and Unusual Birds

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