- Pink, conical bill (yellow in some populations)
- Black and white head stripes
- Gray face and underparts
- Tan back with dark streaks
- Brown wings with wing bars
- Long tail
- Sexes similar
- Immature plumage (Fall and Winter) similar to adult but has brown and
gray head stripes
- Juvenile plumage (Summer) similar to immature but duller with streaked
Adults are only likely to be confused with the White-throated Sparrow.
White-throated Sparrow has white throat contrasting with the gray breast,
yellow lores and a dark bill. Immature Golden-crowned Sparrow lacks head
stripes and is darker.