My Bantam Lake

White-Throated Sparrow

Written on 07/03/2018


Zonotrichia albicollis

The White-throated Sparrow is a large, full-bodied sparrow with a fairly prominent bill, rounded head, long legs, and long, narrow tail. They measure 16 to 18 centimeters in length, with a wingspan of 20 to 23 centimeters. White-throated Sparrows are brown above and gray below with a striking head pattern. The black-and-white-striped head is augmented by a bright white throat and yellow between the eye and the bill, which is gray. You’ll also see a less boldly marked form, known as “tan-striped,” with a buff-on-brown face pattern instead of white-on-black. Look for White-throated Sparrows in woods, at forest edges, in the regrowth that follows logging or forest fires, at pond and bog edges, and in copses near treeline. In winter you can find these birds in thickets, overgrown fields, parks, and woodsy suburbs. They readily come to backyards for birdseed. This species is of low conservation concern.

Fun Facts:

  • White-throated Sparrows typically nest on or near the ground. Occasional nests are built up to 15 feet off the ground in conifers. Usually, these nests are second attempts after a pair has had a ground nest robbed by a predator.
  • Although they look nothing alike and aren’t particularly closely related, the White-throated Sparrow and the Dark-eyed Junco occasionally mate and produce hybrids. The resulting offspring look like grayish, dully marked White-throated Sparrows with white outer tail feathers.

 

Source: White-throated Sparrow Overview and Identification Information, All About Birds, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White-throated_Sparrow/overview