Date: 3/30/17 9:57 am
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Young Golden Crowns?
Hi - 

Fred sent me a photo of his bird.  It had lost its tail, presumably to a predator, which is what made him think fledgling.  This time of year, first-cycle birds (hatched in 2016) are difficult to tell from winter adults, but his appeared to be first-cycle - information I sent to him privately.


On 3/29/2017 10:42:39 PM, Dan Gleason <dan-gleason...> wrote:
When Fred Ramsey suspected a young Golden-crowned Sparrow earlier, I sent him the following information.

Breeding of Golden-crowned Sparrow anywhere in the lower 48 is almost unheard of. The breeding range is much further north, in the Yukon and central Alaska. The breeding habitat there (typically scrub-tundra and some mixed conifers) is also unlike our local habitats. Adults don't typically arrive on breeding grounds until May and egg dates are mid-May to mid-June, so this would be very early. Unlike many species, there has been no documented change in range of this species, although there is still much to learn about Golden-crowned Sparrows. To date, I only know of one study dedicated to breeding biology of this sparrow and it was published in 1987. There are some scattered summer records of Golden-crowned Sparrows in the US (outside of Alaska), even one from Florida, but these are all wandering individuals out of range, not breeding birds. 

Fred's bird was not a juvenile, but a young adult still mostly in non-breeding plumage. I suspect you are seeing the same. Full adult breeding plumage is often not reached until late April.

Dan Gleason

Dan Gleason
Owner, Wild Birds Unlimited of Eugene
Ornithology Instructor, University of Oregon
<dan-gleason...> [mailto:<dan-gleason...>]

On Mar 29, 2017, at 10:01 PM, Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> [mailto:<acontrer56...>]> wrote:

Fred Ramsey had one missing a tail and half its flight feathers, either a pretty exceptional molt or a close escape from kitty.

Alan Contreras
Eugene, Oregon

<acontrer56...> [mailto:<acontrer56...>]

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 29, 2017, at 9:58 PM, Paul Sullivan <paultsullivan...> [mailto:<paultsullivan...>]> wrote:


I'm seeing scruffy birds in my yard, too.  I think they are last year's

young molting into adult plumage.  I could be wrong.

Paul Sullivan


Subject: Young Golden Crowns?

Date: Wed Mar 29 2017 23:26 pm

From: lindaphelanlmt AT []

Hello Obolers, Yesterday I had what looked like newly fledged Golden Crown

Sparrows kicking around in the leaf litter. I've seen other young birds, and

that's what these looked like, but the information I've read said they nest

up north. They sure had the scruffy looked of newly fledged birds. I still

see the adults out there under my feeders some days.

Does anybody have insight or knowledge into this?

Linda, Fanno Creek


Linda Lee

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