I photographed this White-crowned Sparrow on a post in my yard here in Arkansas. I had my camera and lens on a tripod while sitting in my yard near a feeder.

An immature White-crowned Sparrow perched on a wooden post with muted brown and white striped head plumage.

Immature White-crowned Sparrow in My Backyard here in Arkansas

Some interesting facts about immature White-crowned Sparrows:

    1. Distinctive Plumage: First-year White-crowned Sparrows can be distinguished from adults by their more muted, reddish-brown-striped head pattern. As they mature, the striking black-and-white head pattern appears in time for their first breeding season.
    2. Molt into Adult Plumage: Immature White-crowned Sparrows molt into adult plumage, acquiring the characteristic black-and-white head pattern.
    3. Vocal Development: Researchers have studied the song development of White-crowned Sparrows, including their geographic variation and the adaptation of their songs to changes in the soundscape. Male White-crowned Sparrows learn the songs they grow up with and typically breed close to the song dialects they learn.
    4. Migration: White-crowned Sparrows are known for their long migrations. For example, Alaskan White-crowned Sparrows migrate about 2,600 miles to winter in Southern California. A migrating White-crowned Sparrow was once tracked moving 300 miles in a single night.
    5. Sleeping Patterns: The White-crowned Sparrow is known for its unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, which allows it to stay half-awake for up to two weeks during migration. This sleeping pattern has been studied for possible human alertness applications in shift work and truck driving.
Immature White-crowned Sparrow in My Backyard

Immature White-crowned Sparrow in My Backyard

Image Information:

  • Date: 02/05/11
  • Time: 09:31 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
  • Lens: Canon 500 f4
  • ISO: 500
  • Aperture: 5
  • Shutter: 1/1600
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.3
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Aperture Priority