White-crowned Sparrow
(Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Andrew A Reding - License
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The White-crowned Sparrow is an abundant species of Canada's northern and western forests, shrubby tundra, subalpine areas, and open grassy habitats. Based on results of the Breeding Bird Survey, this species has shown a moderate decrease in population since 1970. Due to its wide range and adaptability to captivity, this is one of the best-studied songbirds in North America, and we owe much of our knowledge of the development and variation of bird song to this species (Chilton et al. 1995). This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaModerate DecreaseLow
 

Population estimate

Canada5,000,000 to 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaHigh

Conservation and management

There are currently few known conservation concerns for this abundant and widely distributed species. However inclement weather is associated with substantial nestling mortality and nest abandonment, and winter survival is especially dependent on availability of food, water and cover (Chilton et al. 1995).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Northwestern Interior ForestNorthwestern Interior Forest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon Region
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern Region
 

References