White-crowned Sparrows may be one of the harder sparrows to identify by sound because they all sing a slightly different song!
Juveniles are not taught to sing by their parents but instead, pick up the songs around them to create their own melody.
At least White-crowned Sparrows are easy to spot because of that flash of white on their head and very identifiable striped heads.
White-crowned sparrows songs and CALLS:
- Make sure to press PLAY on the audio files below. 🙂
Sound #1: Maryland Melody
Scientists love to study the White-crowned Sparrow because of their unique songs and ability to be bilingual. This small sparrow lives its whole life right around where it was hatched.
Interestingly, if its home happens to be on the edge of two different sparrow territories, then a White-crowned Sparrow may become bilingual, singing both dialects and understanding them too.
Sound #2: California Melody
Listening to these two song clips, you can hear the different dialects that are occurring. These dialects can make birding by ear difficult, but listen to the very beginning of the song to hear the sweet whistling melody before the mash-up of whistles and trills. That initial melody will be very similar in all areas for the White-crowned Sparrow.
Sound #3: “Pink”
The most common White-crowned Sparrow call is this simple “pink” call.
Sound #4: Lower Pitched Version of Song
You may also hear what sounds like a lower-pitched version of the White-crowned Sparrow call. This is the male’s alarm call when defending the nest. You should give this bird space if you can.
Although different dialects may be tough to identify, the White-crowned Sparrows coloring will always make it easy to identify.
Have you heard the calls and sounds of a White-crowned Sparrow before?
If so, please let us know below!