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 White-crowned Sparrow

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for White-crowned Sparrow.

Use the links below to view the White-crowned Sparrow reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View White-crowned Sparrow sightings.
White-crowned Sparrow Archives Reports
Fall 2003 271
Spring 2003 165
Winter 02-03 24
Fall 2002 104
Summer 2002 3
Spring 2002 200
Winter 01-02 7
Fall 2001 239
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 65
Winter 00-01 4
Fall 2000 31
Summer 2000 1
Spring 2000 110
Winter 00-99 24
Fall 1999 173
Spring/Summer 1999 18

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: White-crowned Sparrow

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the White-crowned Sparrow
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
White-crowned Sparrow
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Zonotrichia leucophrys leucophrys (Forster)
White-crowned Sparrow

Regular transient. Recorded once in winter (Jackson County).

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 415).

SPRING.-Individuals are reported from late April to late May; the main flight occurs during the first 3 weeks of May.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 210) reported main flight between May 9 and May 19. In 1889 Swales recorded White-crowned Sparrows in the Detroit area as early as April 27; he regularly recorded them in numbers in mid-May (12 on May 14, 2023), and in 1917 he saw several as late as May 27. Similar records from the Ann Arbor area are: 3 seen on April 29, 1940, by R.E. Morrill; more than 30 on May 5, 1912, by N. A. Wood; and 1 specimen (U.M.M.Z.) collected May 22, 1935, by Van Tyne. N. A. Wood (1922: 21) recorded this sparrow in Berrien County as uncommon, noting it there from May 6 to May 17; Walkinshaw (1939: 111) noted it in the Battle Creek area April 30, 1936, and generally found it there by late April. Near Alicia, Saginaw County, G. A. Ammann observed 3 White-crowned Sparrows on May 10, and 6 on May 13, 1940, and at Sand Point, Huron County, D. W. Douglass found this sparrow during mid-May (5 in 1932; 1 in 1933). N. A. Wood saw a few on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, during the second week of May, 1929.

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens (1939: 105) has recorded the White-crowned Sparrow at McMillan, Luce County, as a rule during the first 3 weeks of May, but in 1938 he found it as early as April 27 and in 1937 as late as June 2. An individual was recorded by N. A. Wood (1914: 68) on Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 19, 1914; several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were collected there by Brodkorb between May 9 and 19, 1936. S. S. Gregory, Jr., secured a specimen in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on May 14, 1921; at Copper Harbor in Keweenaw County, N. A. Wood (1933:725) observed White-crowned Sparrows from May 11 to May 25, 1931. Laurence Dayton reported them on Isle Royale on May 12, 1937, and N. A. Wood recorded 5 there on May 16, 1930.

FALL.-The main flight occurs between mid-September and mid-October.

Upper Peninsula.-Flocks of 5 or 6 were seen on Isle Royale from September 12 to 20 (Max M. Peet, 1909o: 119), and 3 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were taken there in 1929 by N. A. Wood, 2 on September 25 and 1 on September 29. Trautman saw 1 Sparrow in 1934 near Sidnaw, Houghton County, on October 1, and 3 near Ewen, Ontonagon County, on October 2. Ira N. Gabrielson saw more than 20 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on September 25, 1936; Bryens (1939: 105) has recorded 1 to 3 at McMillan, Luce County, from mid-September to mid-October, and Christofferson found 1 at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, as late as November 7,1933.

Lower Peninsula.-D. Stoner (1920: 136) reported a "White-crowned Sparrow at Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, on August 8, a most exceptionally early date. J. Claire Wood (1913: 18) noted 3 at Lincoln, Alcona County, on October 7; N. A. Wood (1911: 101) found this sparrow abundant on Charity Island, Huron County, between September 29 and October 4. Walkinshaw (1939 : 111) has noted it in the Battle Creek area from late September (September 29, 2023) to the latter part of October (October 26, 2023). Ten White-crowned Sparrows were seen at Portage Lake, Jackson County, by R. E. Olsen, A. D. Tinker, and T. D. Hinshaw on October 7, 1934, and 5 were noted near South Lyon, Oakland County, by Walter E. Hastings on October 17, 1926. J. Claire Wood reported (Swales, notes) them as fairly common near Detroit on September 19,1901; Swales observed considerable numbers there in early October, noting 15 on October 1, 1913, and the same number on October 2, 1904. L. W. Campbell (1940 : 210) has found them migrating through the Toledo-Erie marsh area chiefly between October 3 and 19.

WINTER.-Winthrop Davey collected a White-crowned Sparrow (U.M.M.Z.) near Jackson on February 19, 1944. Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii (Nuttall) Gambel's Sparrow (Once a distinct species, it is now grouped with White-crowned Sparrow) Uncommon transient. First recorded for Michigan by Magee (1926: 163-164). This account is based almost entirely on the records of bird banders and a few specimens in the Museum of Zoology. SPRING.-This sparrow is recorded chiefly in the first 3 weeks of May. Lower Peninsula.-H. W. Hann and G. A. Ammann observed a Gambel's Sparrow near Ann Arbor on May 12, 1937, and N. A. Wood collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) in Berrien County in 1918, 1 on May 6 and 1 on May 13 (Van Tyne, 1930: 95). A number have been banded at East Lansing, Ingham County; 1 was secured on May 5, 1927, by J. W. Stack (Van Tyne, 1930: 96); other records include 2 banded by F. E. Ludwig, 1 on April 24, 1931, and 1 on May 6, 1932. Mr. and Mrs. F. L. DuMond banded 1 at East Grand Rapids, Kent County, on May 16, 1939; and F. E. Ludwig 1 at Port Huron, St. Clair County, on May 20, 1940. Upper Peninsula.-Bryens (1939: 105-6) has banded a number of Gambel's Sparrows at McMillan, Luce County, between May 4 (1938) and May 16 (1939). Brodkorb (1936 : 455) collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 19, 1936; Magee secured 1 (U.M.M.Z.) at Sault Ste Marie on May 16, 1928, and has banded several there in the early part of May. In the western part of the peninsula, near Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, N. A. Wood (1933: 726) collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.), 1 on May 16, and 1 on May 18, and observed the species there until May 23. FALL.-Two specimens have been taken in the north. S. S. Gregory, Jr. (J. T. Zimmer and Gregory, 1929 : 244-45), collected 1 in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on October 12, 1924, and Christofferson secured a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, on October 14, 1939. Christofferson banded 1 at Blaney on October 12, 1939, and Magee (Van Tyne, 1930: 96) banded 2 at Sault Ste Marie, 1 on September 27, and 1 on October 10, 1927. Bryens has banded a number at McMillan, Luce County, between September 10 (1933) and November 10 (1938). Records from the Lower Peninsula are represented by 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) : 1 was collected by Leonard Wing (1931: 132) near Jackson on October 13, 1930, and 1 was secured by L. W. Campbell in Erie Township, Monroe County, on October 5, 1935.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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