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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Amaze-wing Facts About The Golden Crowned Sparrow For Kids

Golden-crowned sparrow facts are all about a unique sparrow of Passerellidae family.

The golden-crowned sparrow is one of the five species of bird that belongs to the genus Zonotrichia. These migratory birds are found in North America, mainly along the Pacific coast. In the summer months, these North American birds reside in Western Canada and Alaska. During the cold winter seasons, they migrate to Baja, California, and Mexico in the south. Their northern breeding grounds comprise tundra vegetation, while the wintering grounds are characterized by chaparral, forest edges, and shrublands. They eat a variety of food like seeds, flowers, fruits, and buds on the feeding ground. Their diet also includes small insects and spiders. They are often seen in pairs or in groups, known as flocks.

Their breeding season occurs from late May to the beginning of August. After mating, the females lay around three to five eggs inside the nest. The females incubate the eggs while the males guard the territory. Both the parents feed the young. They usually leave the nest after 12 days from birth. International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed golden-crowned sparrows as species of Least Concern. However, according to scientists, climate change might alter their range map.

If you liked reading this article, check out the grasshopper sparrow and the savannah sparrow!

Golden-Crowned Sparrow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a golden-crowned sparrow?

The golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) is a large bird belonging to the genus Zonotrichia. It is a New World Sparrow of the Passerellidae family.

What class of animal does a golden-crowned sparrow belong to?

It belongs to the class Aves. The scientific name of this species is Zonotrichia atricapilla.

How many golden-crowned sparrows are there in the world?

Their total population consists of around 4 million individuals.

Where does a golden-crowned sparrow live?

These birds are mostly found in the western part of North America, mainly along the northern coast of Canada and the western coast of California. Their range extends from the northern part of Alaska and British Columbia to Baja in California and Mexico, in the south. In the summer, they reside in Alaska and western Canada. During the winter season, they migrate to the southern parts of California and Mexico, from the west. They are rarely seen in the eastern coastal regions of North America, Russia, and Japan.

What is a golden-crowned sparrow's habitat?

In the north, their habitat consists of tundra vegetation. These areas have low temperature and ground vegetation that includes grasses, shrubs, mosses, and lichens. Their preferred habitat in the wintering grounds includes chaparrals, forest edges, and shrublands. Chaparrals are characterized by hot summers and mild winters.  The vegetation found in this region includes evergreen and deciduous trees, along with scrublands.

Who do golden-crowned sparrows live with?

Golden-crowned sparrows usually live in pairs or groups known as flocks. In the winter, they form groups with white-crowned sparrows and fly to the wintering ground.

How long does a golden-crowned sparrow live?

These North American birds can live up to 10 and a half years.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are usually monogamous, having one partner throughout their life. However, females often mate with other males and display polyandrous behavior. Their breeding season occurs from late May to the beginning of August. Males usually make a distinctive call to attract the females on the breeding grounds. These birds built their nests using twigs, barks, and grasses.  After mating, the females lay a clutch of three to five eggs inside the nest. They are incubated by the females for 11 to 13 days. The eggs are usually pale green with reddish-brown spots. The males defend their nesting territories and feed the females while they are incubating. After hatching, the young remain in the nest for nine to 11 days. Both the parents feed and care for the young. The young leave the nest after 12 days.

What is their conservation status?

International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed golden-crowned sparrows as species of Least Concern. They have stable growth in population. However, the destruction of habitat and climate change are some of the threats encountered by them. According to scientists, climate change might alter their range map.

Golden-Crowned Sparrow Fun Facts

What do golden-crowned sparrows look like?

Golden-crowned sparrows have a distinct yellow crown with black stripes.

The golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) is a large bird of the Passerellidae family. Their wings are 9.7 in (24.7 cm) long. Both the sees look alike, although the males are slightly larger than the females. These birds have a yellow patch on the head with two black stripes, resembling a crown. This yellow patch is more visible in the summer, while they become slightly dull in the winter. They have brown plumage with white underbellies. They also have brownish-black stripes on the back. Both the wings and tail are brown in color. The plumage of the young bird resembles the adult's plumage in winter.

How cute are they?

Their cuteness usually stems from their appearance. The presence of a yellow patch on the head, brownish-black stripes on the back, and white underbellies make them attractive.

How do they communicate?

These birds communicate through a range of vocalizations. Their calls or whistles are usually very high-pitched, starting with a descending tone. Their calls are quite similar to that of white-crowned sparrows. However, their introductory note is quite different. Their song usually sounds like someone saying 'oh dear me'. The males have a distinct call to attract mates during the breeding season.

How big is a golden-crowned sparrow?

It is 7 in (17.8 cm) long. It is slightly larger than white-crowned sparrows (5.9-6.3 in), another species of the same family.

How fast can a golden-crowned sparrow fly?

These birds can fly at a speed of 23.9-28.5 mph(38.5-46 kph).

How much does a golden-crowned sparrow weigh?

It weighs around 0.67-1.2 oz (19-35.4 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Scientists do not have specific names for the male and female golden-crowned sparrows. They are commonly referred to as male golden-crowned sparrows and female golden-crowned sparrows.

What would you call a baby golden-crowned sparrow?

Young baby golden-crowned sparrows are known as chicks.

What do they eat?

The diet of these North American birds includes a variety of seeds, flowers, fruits, and buds present on the feeding ground. In winter, their diet mainly consists of vegetation, while in the summer season, they feed on flowers. They also eat a variety of small insects and spiders.

Did you know...

The color and size of the yellow patch on their head are indicators of dominating behavior. It usually signals the birds who are likely to engage in fights.

What does a golden-crowned sparrow sound like?

These birds have a range of vocal behaviors through which they communicate with each other. Their calls have three distinct notes, starting with a descending tone. Their song can be heard from long distances. The song ends with a thrill note, which sounds like someone saying 'oh dear me'. According to researchers, the dialect of their songs varies with the change in the distance of migration. These birds are also called 'weary willie', as the song sometimes sounds like the phrase 'I'm so weary'. This name was given to these birds by the gold miners from Alaska. Their distinct flight note is described as a 'tseep'. They are mostly heard singing in the breeding ground as well as on the wintering ground.

What kind of birdhouse does a golden-crowned sparrow like or have?

These birds generally prefer a warm and comfortable birdhouse. It should be laid with nesting materials like grasses, twigs, and leaves. It should also be positioned at a higher elevation from the ground. These birdhouses might protect the bird from cold winter seasons. It will also provide a safe place for the bird to lay eggs, during the breeding season.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the fox sparrow and the Eurasian tree sparrow.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our sparrow coloring pages.

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