The ACTH-immunoreactive (ir) system of the avian brain is particularly conspicuous in the male white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii). The irperikaryal population is concentrated mainly within the tuberal region, projecting primarily in a dorsal direction: (i) into the striatum; (ii) into rostral diencephalic, septal, hyperstriatal, and thalamic areas; and (iii) into dorsal and ventral areas of the brain stem. Ir-fibers seemingly contact local non-immunoreactive neurons mainly in the accumbens nucleus, septum, dorsal thalamic nuclei, infundibular and interpeduncular nuclei, and in the rostral diencephalon. Neurohemal zones are not supplied by ACTH-ir terminals. Immunocytochemical problems arising from the complexity of the proopiomelanocortin molecule and its derived peptide components are discussed in relation to phylogenetically directed studies, and contradictory results.