Friday, May 19, 2017

White-crowned Sparrow

The only other bird of passing interest that we photographed during our quick trip east was on 8 May at a rest area along I-74 in Woodford County, Illinois. Four races of White-crowned Sparrows are known. Two are found along the West Coast. The other two are seen across North America. The race leucophrys, is generally found further east than gambelii. Several field marks separate these subspecies. The major one is the color of the male's lores, the area between their eye and the crown stripe. This area is black in leucophrys, but gray in gambelii. In areas of overlap between the two races around the Hudson Bay, intermediate-plumaged individuals are sometimes encountered. The bird in this photo is clearly leucophrys.

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