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Zonotrichia leucophrys1.jpg
White-crowned sparrow
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Zonotrichia
Swainson, 1832

Z. leucophrys
Z. albicollis
Z. atricapilla
Z. capensis
Z. querula

Zonotrichia is a genus of five American sparrows of the family Emberizidae. Four of the species are North American, but the rufous-collared sparrow breeds in highlands from the extreme southeast of Mexico to Tierra del Fuego, and on Hispaniola.

The genus name Zonotrichia is from Ancient Greek zone, "band", and thrix, trikhos, "hair.[1]

The species are:

These birds have brown backs streaked with black, and distinctive head markings. Their cup nests, built by the female, are of plant material lined with fine grasses and constructed on the ground, low in a tree or bush, or in a niche in a wall.

The female lays brown-blotched greenish-blue or greenish white eggs, which she incubates for 12–14 days. The male helps in feeding the chicks.

Zonotrichia sparrows feed on the ground on seeds, fallen grain, insects and spiders.


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. p. 414. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.