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White-crowned Sparrows in the Kern River Valley


Mammals    Birds     Reptiles     Amphibians      Fish    Insects   Spiders     Dragonflies     Grasshoppers     Butterflies     Crayfish

NOTE: There is no collecting, fishing, or hunting on the preserve. If you see any animal or plant on the preserve, please take only pictures and memories. Do not disturb nesting birds. Do not go off trail.


Beginning Bird Identification

Bird Feeding Instructions

Feeding Hummingbirds


Kern River Valley Birds Checklist

Kern Valley Spring Nature Festival Birds

Audubon Kern River Preserve Winter Birding Guide

Audubon Kern River Preserve Spring Bird Arrival Guide

Audubon Kern River Preserve Summer Birding Guide

Audubon Kern River Preserve Fall Birding Guide


Canebrake Ecological Reserve

Birding on the Kern River Preserve and South Fork Kern River

KRV Hummingbird Finding Guide

Visitor and Travel Information Page


Summer Tanagers on the Kern River

Tricolored Blackbird - May 2008

White-crowned Sparrows in the Kern River Valley and beyond


Bird Banding on the Kern River Preserve and South Fork Kern River

Kern River Valley Turkey Vulture Community Watch


America's birdiest inland county 2010

Kern County 2008, America's birdiest inland county!

Kern County, America's birdiest inland county in 2007

Kern River Valley Christmas Bird Count History

Schedule of KRV Christmas Bird Counts

Gambel's White-crowned SparrowBirding in winter brings a different experience than any other time of year. Our winter birds arrive from September through late November. In winter the number of sparrows, waterfowl and woodpeckers swell as the birds evacuate the cold mountains to the warmer and more food rich valleys. One our favorite, and most abundant, winter residents is the White-crowned Sparrow. They are resident on the Kern River Preserve from mid September until late May. There are five subspecies of White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) found in North America. Four of the subspecies are migratory.

Three subspecies have been found on the preserve but our wintering population mostly consists of Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrows - Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelli. Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrows have a white lore and orange bill. The distinction is clear if you know what to look for as it is the most unique subspecies.

Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii breeds in Alaska, the northern mainland of Canada, eastern British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta. This subspecies has pale lores and an orange bill.

Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow

Gambel's White-crowned Sparrow - juvenile

Zonotrichia leucophrys leucophyrys breeds in northern Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and northeastern Manitoba.

Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha breeds in mountainous western Alberta and western United States.

Z. l. leucophrys and Z. l. oriantha have dark lores and pink to dark reddish pink bills. They are infrequently seen on the preserve.

Zonotrichia leucophrys pugetensis breeds along the Pacific Coast of North America ranging from Campbell River, Vancouver Island through northwestern California.

Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli is non-migratory and the only subspecies found exclusively in California. It lives along a narrow band on Coast from northwestern California to Santa Barbara County. Z. l. pugatenis and Z. l. nuttalli are virtually indistinguishable, with pale lores and dull yellowish bills. These are not found inland.

Nuttall's White-crowned Sparrow

About Audubon Kern River Preserve

The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Audubon Kern River Preserve supporters provide financial and volunteer support for Preserve outreach, education, wildlife habitat protection & stewardship.

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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283 • E-mail
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This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.