- Length: 6.25 inches
- Dark, conical bill with pale lower mandible
- Broad black supercilium and yellow crown
- Gray face and underparts
- Tan back with dark streaks
- Brown wings with wing bars
- Long tail
- Sexes similar
- Winter adult duller with less obvious head pattern
- Immature plumage (Fall and Winter) similar to adult but has plain head
pattern with just a hint of the golden crown (variable)
- Juvenile plumage (Summer) similar to immature but duller with streaked
Adults are unlikely to be confused with other species. Immatures are
larger than most sparrows and lack the head patterns of the similarly-sized
White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.