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 
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 4:11 PM
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
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