Saturday, June 14, 2014 Golden-crowned and Song Sparrows

Seward, Alaska

I rarely see the female GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, and many references ignore her completely. So I was pleased to get a few photos of her recently as she quickly gleaned leggy insects from a willow tree for her babies. The dad is quite dashing with his dashing golden crown inset into a black cap, but she also wears a sweet little golden crown. Quite the royal pair.

Another sparrow puzzled me. It looked like a SONG SPARROW, but it was so much brighter than our dark Kenai subspecies with a dapper white bib, buffy eyebrows, and almost no gray on the face. The dark bill looked much longer and more slender than the pictures in the books. Thanks to Joe Staab for verifying the ID as a Song Sparrow. As he described it, it's "milk chocolate" instead of "dark chocolate," more like the Midwestern subspecies. I'll be looking more closely at Song Sparrows now as well!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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