A western form White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) was banded by the Rouge River Bird Observatory on 20 October 2006, described below and compared with typical eastern and “intergrade” forms. There is a very nice article on identifying subspecies, with range maps, in a 1995 issue of Birding (27:182-200). Two other web pages, Oiseaux Birds and David Sibley’s blog also have a nice set of comparative photos of some of the variations.
Adult White-crowned Sparrows of all subspecies have black and white
head stripes, while juvenile birds have brown and tan head stripes. Here
are some examples of juvenile White-crowned Sparrows banded at RRBO,
concluding with the western “Gambels” type banded in 2006.