A mnemonic device is something used to aid memory or learning. Sometimes birders 'translate' bird songs into mnemonics to help them remember which bird is singing a particular song. We've made a fun quiz showing ten of our Birdorable birds and the common mnemonics birdwatchers sometimes use to... Read more »
White-crowned Sparrows are medium-sized sparrows that live in North America. They are named for the bright white stripes on their heads, which boldly alternate with black stripes. Their backs are streaked while their breasts are unmarked grey. Males and females look alike.
White-crowned Sparrows breed in far northern parts of Canada and Alaska, down to the United States in parts of the Rockies. They are ground nesters. They winter across much of the United States down into parts of Central America.
White-crowned Sparrows feed by foraging on the ground for insects as well as grains and fruit. They will also scratch at the ground to turn leaves and other debris to find food underneath. Some birdwatchers say that their song sounds like More, more, more cheesies, please!
Details & Statistics
The White-crowned Sparrow is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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The White-crowned Sparrow is a beautiful sparrow that can be found across most of North America, where it breeds roughly in Alaska and northern Canada and spends the winter in most parts of the USA. The birds that... Read more »