Formal attire required? No problem for a White-crowned Sparrow. The only thing missing is a boutonniere! The bold head patterns, white on top bordered by broad black stripes bordered by white above the eye and a final black stripe extending from behind the eye to the back of the head, give these beauties their handsome appearance. All of this is presented on the grey background of the rest of the head, breast, and belly. Do a pair make a lovely couple? Yes. She looks exactly the same.
White-crowns breed in the far north, chiefly in Alaska and Canada’s western provinces where they prefer a patchy mix of grass, shrubs, and bare ground. They are found as year-long residents in portions of the Rockies.
During winter months they can be found over much of the U.S., tending to more southerly regions. Northeast birders frequently encounter White-crowns at their feeders during migration in the spring and fall. Regardless of the season, they are always a welcome sight.
White-crowned Sparrows consume a variety of foods including insects, seeds, berries, and other plant material. They will visit agricultural fields for grains like wheat, barley, and corn.
They prefer feeding proximate to some form of protective cover. A platform feeder placed near cover and directly on the ground suits these sparrows perfectly. A mix rich in millet, milo, and corn, such as Aspen Song® Value Blend is sure to please.
Reference: Chilton, G., M. C. Baker, C. D. Barrentine and M. A. Cunningham. 1995. White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.doi:10.2173/bna.183