There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia atricapilla

Brown-streaked upperparts 
Plain gray face and breast
Yellow crown stripe, flanked by two black stripes*
Brown wings with white wingbars

*In winter, the yellow crown is muted with little or no black.

Listen to its song.

Yes, it's time for another sparrow. I've seen quite a few of these ones around, although none at our feeders yet. Apparently, the golden-crowned sparrow will claim a specific spot at a feeder as its own, which it then uses exclusively. Sort of like calling shotgun I guess.

The photograph on the right was taken at the same time as the white-crown sparrows featured earlier this month. As you can see, it was a bit windy that day.  

Learn more about the Golden-crowned Sparrow.

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