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Merlin Bird ID

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    White-crowned Sparrow Identification

    The Four Keys to ID

    • Size & Shape

      The White-crowned Sparrow is a large sparrow with a small bill and a long tail. The head can look distinctly peaked or smooth and flat, depending on the bird’s attitude.

      Relative Size

      Slightly larger than a Song Sparrow

      Relative Sizesparrow or smallersparrow-sized or smaller
      • Both Sexes
        • Length: 5.9-6.3 in (15-16 cm)
        • Weight: 0.9-1.0 oz (25-28 g)
        • Wingspan: 8.3-9.4 in (21-24 cm)

    Regional Differences

    White-crowned Sparrows that breed along the Pacific Coast tend to have yellow bills and duller white head stripes. Birds that breed from Alaska to Hudson Bay tend to have orange bills and white or gray lores. Birds that breed east of Hudson Bay and in the Rockies tend to have pink bills with black lores that merge with the black head stripes.