White-crowned Sparrows appear each winter over much of North America to grace our gardens and favorite trails (they live in parts of the West year-round). The smart black-and-white head, pale beak, and crisp gray breast combine for a dashing look – and make it one of the surest sparrow identifications in North America. Watch for flocks of these sparrows scurrying through brushy borders and overgrown fields, or coax them into the open with backyard feeders. As spring approaches, listen out for this bird’s thin, sweet whistle.
A migrating White-crowned Sparrow was once tracked moving 300 miles in a single night. Alaskan White-crowned Sparrows migrate about 2,600 miles to winter in Southern California.
Information from the All About Birds website, www.allaboutbirds.org, © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.