Z Is For Zonotrichia Atricapilla

AKA Golden Crowned Sparrow–As I’m winding down on my quick paint birds it’s becoming more difficult to find birds to go with some of the letters.  I was considering painting a Zebra Finch for the Z (which I don’t have a reference picture of) but upon checking the index of my trusty bird book to see what birds started with Z, I was delighted to find that the scientific name for a Golden Crowned Sparrow starts with a Z!  I had this cute little picture of a Golden Crowned Sparrow sitting in my hydrangea bush just outside my kitchen window from this last spring in the que and had hoped to be able to paint it.  We get a lot of these perky birds, along with White Crowned Sparrows.

Quick block in.
Quick block in.

Today I decided to show you my process again.  The first one is about 15 minutes in.  I got a phone call at the next phase I was going to photograph and completely forgot it so I’m jumping to the finished product.

Golden Crowned Sparrow
Golden Crowned Sparrow

This little guy took me right at 1 1/2 hours.  The angle of his beak drove me crazy–it was a matter of stepping away again and letting the paint setup so I could accomplish the curve and shadows.  However, don’t look too closely.

I don’t have much info besides their scientific name today–I thought that in itself was pretty impressive.  I had my granddaughter much of the day and now that it’s time to post my blog my brain seems dead.  It was definitely worth the time with her though. ;-).


  1. Linda Foster says:

    He’s a cutie….looks like he is listening to you talk 🙂

  2. Heidi Hjort says:

    Lovely picture! The surprising background colour binds the painting together perfectly. You know, the white edge of the painting is really delicious, it adds to the design. Hope you’re planning on keeping it 🙂 Would look great on a postcard or a sticker.

    1. kmcgheeart says:

      Thank you so much Heidi! I do plan to make notecards from this alphabet series. Maybe not all of them but several.

      1. Heidi Hjort says:

        Good for you, I’m sure the will be a success!

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