Re: [CVBirds] golden-crowned sparrows arrive 9-30-03, 9am
I write this as I listen to Golden-crowned Sparrows singing outside my
window. The ones in my yard seemed to have first arrived on Monday.
The people in my birding class at the PA Baylands also had very similar
arrival dates this year.
Some nit-picky details in Pyle's guide(s) that may or may not have any
bearing on the ageing of the Golden-crowns in your yard:
You should know that the newer edition of Pyle, "Identification Guide
to North American Birds", 1997, has a bit more about assessing crown
plumage for Golden-Crowned Sparrows (GCSP). The illustrations have
small changes: they are labeled A, B, C, D, with A being the most
diffused immature (HY/SY) and D being the most definitive adult
Crown D has an additional callout noting that the hind crown/nape is
The order of the crowns are changed by moving the lower two images
upward so that the youngest plumage is at the upper left and the oldest
at the lower right, which is a better match for chronological reading.
age and month designations have been removed from the illustrations
and the text descriptions have been updated.
There is a cautionary note in the ageing text. In the Aug-Apr timeframe,
right now, there is an overlap in crown plumage between the darkest
and the lightest AHY/ASYs; the reference is to crown B, or in the older
Pyle, et al, the crown at the lower right. This is the crown that was
age "Unknown" in the older Pyle. There are now a couple of other plumage
and molt characteristics to use in conjunction with the crown type.
are the relative age (shape, freshness) of the outer primary coverts
outer retrices (tail feathers). These are best assessed in-hand, but I
with experience, a bander might be able to see these features in the
FYI, many of the updates in Pyle involve adding molt timing information
reference to the outer primary coverts and how they relate to the
coverts. Plumage assessement is growing up! Also, the 1997 guide
some non-passerines: doves, cuckoos, owls, nightjars, swifts,
trogons, kingfishers, and woodpeckers. It's a worthwhile reference even
one doesn't band birds.
I don't know if anyone has ever recorded information in banding data to
know if sibling sparrows migrate together.
Hi to Don!
Les Chibana, Palo Alto
On Tuesday, September 30, 2003, at 09:55 PM, Sally Walters wrote:
> From Sally Walters. 9-30-2003. This morning at about 9AM our first
> golden-crowned sparrows arrived at our platform feeder in Riverpark,
> Sacramento. All 3 had dull gold crowns outlined by blackish stripes.
> I heard one call and then went to view them at the feeder. According
> to the bird banding book by Pyle, Howell, et all. 1987.
> "Identification Guide to North American Passerines," all 3 were
> AHY/ASY. I wonder if they are migratory siblings?
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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