Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Golden-crowned Sparrow - Zonotrichia atricapilla
Passerellidae Members:
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General Comments Though this is a species of the northwestern portions of North America, breeding only from Alaska to British Columbia, there are numerous records of strays to much of the eastern United States. Both SC and VA have had records, so it was just a matter of time before NC would get its first record. That came on 22 Dec 2018, when one was seen and photographed in Harbinger (Currituck), near the coast. Thankfully for birders, it remained with a flock of White-throated Sparrows for the entire winter and was seen by hundreds of observers over a period of about two months, last seen on 14 Feb 2019* [Chat 83:64 link]. The record was accepted by the NC BRC and was placed on the state's Definitive List [Chat 83:20 link], [Chat 85:86-87 link]; photos are available in those issues of the Chat, plus on the Carolina Bird Club Photo Gallery.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain One record (see above).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-31], LeGrand[2021-08-30], LeGrand[2019-06-26]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.