Bird #266 — Golden-crowned Sparrow

zonotrichia (from zone, girdle, and trichos, hair) atricappila (black-haired)

Saturday, March 31, 1984 — 3:40 pm

Saguaro National Monument, Arizona — Rincon Mountain Unit — Javelina Picnic Area

Mom brought us to this particular picnic area to see this particular bird.  It had been there all winter long, and she and Dad had seen it several times.  Southern Arizona is out of its range, and birders had been coming from miles around to see it after it was reported on the hot line.  Mom was very proud that she had pointed it out to some “pros.”

We sat down at one of the picnic tables in the midst of a saguaro forest in a rocky, hilly area with a lot of scrub and prickly-pear cactus.  Mom crumbled cookies on the ground and moments later a flock of White-crowned Sparrows showed up. Sure enough, with all the White-crowns was a lone Golden-crowned Sparrow, foraging for the crumbs.

As we sat and talked, things got lively.  We attracted Rock Squirrels, Harris’ Antelope Squirrels, Cactus Wrens, Northern Cardinals, Curve-billed Thrashers and Gambel’s Quails.

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