About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sparrow with white stripes on head

They're here! I woke up this morning to a beautiful chorus of White-crowned Sparrows. I've been seeing and hearing a couple for a few days, but a whole flock of White-crowns arrived this morning at the feeders. These sparrows with bold black and white racing stripes on their head make them a happy addition to the usual suspects in the yard. At 7 inches, these are some of the largest sparrows that come to our feeding areas.

Right now they are eating my No-mess blend bird seed. Mainly ground feeders, they scritch and scratch the dirt looking for leftover sunflower seeds and millet. They also eat weed seeds, berries, buds and moss.

Mid-Michigan isn’t a nesting territory for these birds. We only see them from late April to late May and sometime in September to November. White-crowned Sparrows have about 10 different calls. During migration you will usually hear their high thin seet or sharp pink call. They breed all along the upper parts of Canada and winter along the southern United States.

People sometimes confuse them with their close relative the White-throated Sparrow but they do not have the white throat markings. Watch the video:  https://vimeo.com/127154774
White-crowned Sparrow from Andy McGann on Vimeo.

Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts http://white-throated-sparrow-fun-facts.html
What birds migrate from Michigan? http://bit.ly/ums5ME
White-crowned Sparrows Like New Songs http://bit.ly/uzPZmV

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