Re: Hybrid White-crowned x White-throated Sparrow?

Alvaro Jaramillo


   Amazing looking bird! Hey, if you had sent me this sight unseen with locality/date my thought would have been to call it a Golden-crowned x White-crowned hybrid. The reasons include the overall tone of color above, the noticeable gray wash on breast, the strongly marked crown stripes, long primary projection, and the pink tone to the bill. All suggest a Golden x gambelli White-crowned to me.



Alvaro Jaramillo



From: <> On Behalf Of Adam Winer
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:52 PM
To: SF Birds <>
Subject: [SFBirds] Hybrid White-crowned x White-throated Sparrow?


Yesterday morning, along with an influx of Golden-crowned Sparrows, I had an odd Zonotrichia in my yard that I'm fairly confident is a hybrid White-crowned x White-throated Sparrow - or, at least, I'm fairly confident is a match for birds others have called that hybrid combo.


It's not a very commonly observed hybrid (this would be the first eBird record for San Francisco!), but there are a number of photos from around California and outside, which this bird matches well. (Macaulay Library has quite a few such photos.)


Salient features, at least by my eye:


- A short and thin black postocular stripe

- Thin crown stripes, with the impression of a pale blob in the lores where a White-throated might have a yellow spot

- A poorly differentiated, but definitely present pale throat and white submoustachial

- A largely pink bill, unlike either the yellow or orange of typical White-crowned ssps for this area

- A rather tan color to the supercilium, neither gray nor white

- Faint streaking on the underparts


Neat bird!  But I haven't seen it since.



Adam Winer



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