Hi Steve and all, In terms of field-observable appearance, my thought was that it was a hatching-year bird based on (1) the vagueness and narrowness of the blackish arc extending from the forecrown back along the lateral crown; and (2) the relatively large amount of yellow bleeding down below the arc, into the front of the supercilium. A lot of winter birds out west show much broader, more solidly black frontal arcs and little or no yellow below the arc. On the LI bird, the dark arc often looked to me like a vague, discontinuous series of small dark flecks. I would think an adult would show more black.
When I get a chance I'll check lots of photos for hints regarding molt limits, the shapes of rectrix tips, etc. Shai Mitra Bay Shore ________________________________________ From: bounce-124141213-11143...@list.cornell.edu [bounce-124141213-11143...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Steve Walter [swalte...@verizon.net] Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 4:11 PM To: NYSBIRDS Subject: [nysbirds-l] Golden-crowned Sparrow Pics and Age I’ve posted a couple of pictures at my web site http://stevewalternature.com/ . Not being on top of Golden-crowned Sparrow plumages, I assumed while I was there that it’s a first winter (immature) bird. It is what you expect in these situations. Now having had a chance to look at references and pictures, I’m not so sure about that. This bird seems brighter on the crown and above the eye than many immatures. which are often rather plain faced with limited yellow. But it is noted that there’s enough variability in adults and immatures that they can’t always be aged. This individual looks very similar to the one in figure 48.3 in “Sparrows … The Photographic Guide”, which is left undetermined to age. You can look it up for yourself, if you care about that sort of thing. Steve Walter Bayside, NY -- NYSbirds-L List Info: Welcome and Basics<http://www.northeastbirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm> Rules and Information<http://www.northeastbirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm> Subscribe, Configuration and Leave<http://www.northeastbirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> Archives: The Mail Archive<http://email@example.com/maillist.html> Surfbirds<http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L> ABA<http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01> Please submit your observations to eBird<http://ebird.org/content/ebird/>! -- -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --