Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrows are grayish-brown underneath and streaked brown on the back. Their heads have a black crown and a bright-yellow forehead.

The colors are duller and brown on the crown in winter, and the yellow forehead is also duller.

  • Zonotrichia atricapilla
  • Length: 5.9-7.1 in (15-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.2 oz (30-33 g)


Golden-crowned Sparrows breed in Alaska and western Canada before migrating to the West Coast for winter. 

Habitat And Diet

You can find Golden-crowned Sparrows in weedy fields scratching for seeds such as dock, sumac, and geranium.

They also eat fruit such as apples, grapes, elderberry, and olives. Insects also make up some of their diets, such as ants, beetles, butterflies, and termites.

Golden-crowned Sparrows Sounds:

Their song is a sad, slow series of whistles that decrease in pitch.


Nests of Golden-crowned Sparrows are usually on the ground and made from twigs, moss, and leaves. They are lined with softer material, such as animal hair, grass, and feathers.

They lay around four eggs, which take just under two weeks to hatch and a further ten days for the young to fledge.

Attract Golden-crowned Sparrows

Attract them to your backyard with seeds on ground feeders or plant native plants that fruit.

Fun Fact:

The gold crown of Golden-crowned Sparrows shows how dominant they are, with larger crowns showing more dominance. This helps to reduce fights among males.