White-Crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia leucophrys

Even a seasoned birder has a hard time telling one sparrow from another. But the bold black-and-white striped head and elegant gray breast make the White-crowned Sparrow an easy one. In winter, it’s one of San Diego County’s most common birds. If you see a flock of them feeding together, you may notice a pecking order. Birds closest to cover are probably higher-ranking adult males and females, while birds foraging farther out are lower-ranking juveniles.

Fun Fact:
Dapper white and gray stripes on the head make this the easiest sparrow to identify.

What’s for Lunch:
Seeds scratched up on the ground

Where’s Home:
Coastal sage scrub and chaparral in fall and winter; nests in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest