Golden-crowned Sparrow
Zonotrichia atricapilla

1/2500s at f10.0, ISO:2000, Canon EOS-1D X, with EF800mm x 1.4 converter

The Golden-crowned Sparrow is common along the western edge of North America. It is a migratory species, breeding from north-central Alaska south to the northwestern corner of Washington, and wintering from southern coastal Alaska to northern Baja California. The Golden-crowned Sparrow feeds on the ground, where it forages by pecking and scratching. It also occasionally leaps into the air after insects or gleans them from foliage, its diet, particularly in the winter, consists primarily of plant material; items include seeds, berries, flowers and buds, as well as the occasional crawling insect. The species is an important destroyer of weed seeds on the Pacific Slope, with various ryegrasses, fescues, bromes, pigweeds, chickweeds, mulleins, filarees, common knotweed and poison oak among its known food sources. The breeding season runs from late May through early August. Males on the breeding ground sing throughout the day from an exposed perch. The nest is a bulky cup built by the female. Located on the ground (or occasionally on a low branch), it is made of dried plant material and lined with hair, fine grasses and feathers. The female typically lays five eggs, though clutches of 3 to 5 have been recorded. The eggs are pale green, oval and heavily spotted with reddish-brown. They are incubated by the female for 11 to 14 days. The young are born naked, blind and helpless but fledge from the nest within 12 days. Both parents feed the young.
Nome, AK