Photo: Golden-Crowned Sparrow Has the Sweetest Golden Crown

Golden sparrow sitting on a branch

Mark Heatherington / Flickr

Our photo of the day comes from Emigrant Lake, Oregon. With a name fit for royalty, the golden-crowned sparrow wears a jaunty marigold chapeau – a flash of color, as if it just couldn't bear to be 100 percent practical. Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes that at one time, gold-rush miners took cold comfort from the bird’s melancholy song, "which seems to reflect the bleak beauty of its surroundings." This particular sparrow was photographed by Mark Heatherington in Jackson County, Oregon. Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group. Alternatively, send it to with "photo of the day" in the subject line.