White-crowned Sparrow

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Scientific Information

Adult White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) are common breeders to the Seward Peninsula except along the coastal lowlands. There are five subspecies of White-crowned Sparrows, Z. l. gambelii is the subspecies found here on the Seward Peninsula and in Alaska. They are named for the white stripes on their head.

White-crowned Sparrows feed primarily on insects and vegetable matter, including seeds, berries, flowers and leaves. Young are fed entirely insects.

Males learn the basics of their song during the first months of their life not from their father but from the generalized song environment of its neighborhood.

Community Information



Spoken Name

Relevant Site Information

The White-crowned Sparrow is a rare migrant and breeder to Shishmaref. A pair of males were seen and heard calling in May 2008 and a pair were seen taking food back to a nest in July 2008 near the church and Elizabeth Nayokpuk's house.

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