A White-throated Sparrow poses on a fence post, above. There are four species of sparrows in the genus Zonotrichia found north of Mexico. Zonotrichia sparrows are often called “crowned sparrows” because of their bold head markings. They are large for sparrows, and nearly every region of North America has one or two species present at some time of the year.
The White-throated Sparrow is a scarce visitor along the Pacific coast. It has yellow spots over its eyes:
Most Harris’s Sparrows spend the winter in the Plains states, south into Texas. Like other Zonotrichia sparrows it has a long tail:
This first-year Harris’s Sparrow was hanging out in brush and pines only meters from the Pacific Ocean:
Zonotrichia sparrows usually feed on the ground close to cover where they can be hard to spot:
Golden-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and western Canada. They are common winter visitors in the Pacific states:
The White-crowned Sparrow is the most widespread Zonotrichia species in North America. Depending on the region, they may have orange, pink, or yellow bills:
Their beautiful, breezy song is the sound of spring on its way:
One example of its song can be heard here:
Thanks for stopping by, and may you be well!