Population status

Golden-crowned Sparrow
(Zonotrichia atricapilla)

The Canadian population of Golden-crowned Sparrows is best monitored by the Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Although that data set includes birds from both the Alaskan and Canadian breeding populations, there are no obvious reasons that population trends from Alaska would be substantially different from those in Canada. These data demonstrate wide annual fluctuations in the population but suggest an overall 75% increase since the early 1970s. Golden-crowned Sparrows are poorly covered by the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) throughout their range, because they nest in subalpine habitats, mainly in northern British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska where there are few BBS routes. There are no other sources of long-term trend data for the species. The Golden-crowned Sparrow is at an acceptable level relative to its national population goal (see North America graph below).


Population goal and acceptable levels of variation

Species/groupGoalLower levelUpper level
Golden-crowned SparrowMean abundance (2008-2012)10th percentile of observed abundance (1970-2012)Not applicable

Picture of logo Christmas Bird Count (CBC)

Additional information on: Christmas Bird Count (CBC)

Table 1: Population trends by geographic area
Geographic areaTime PeriodAnnual Trend Table 1 - footnote 1 Limits
North America Select to view graph of the geographic area: North America 1970-2016; Christmas Bird Count (CBC)1970-20161.20.71.73