Black-throated Sparrow

Amphispiza bilineata

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4

BTSP

Code 6

AMPBIL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Black-throated Sparrow is a small bird with a breeding range of 2,450,000 square kilometers. It breeds in a variety of arid habitats from eastern Washington south to Arizona and Texas, and in northern and central Mexico. Northern populations may migrate short distances to the desert regions of the southern United States during winter months. This species is also known as the Desert Sparrow, as it prefers arid and dry desert hillsides and shrubs for breeding and nesting. Although this species has experienced a large, long-term decline because of habitat loss and degradation, it still has a large, estimated breeding population of 50 million individuals, and a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Black-throated Sparrow: Medium sparrow, gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, black bib. Head has dark gray cap and sharply contrasting white eyebrow and cheek stripe. Bill is black. Long, round-tipped tail is edged with white. Legs and feet are gray. Forages on the ground and in low vegetation.

 

Range and Habitat

Black-throated Sparrow: Breeds from central Oregon to northeastern California, southwestern Wyoming, and southeastern Colorado southward to central Arizona and New Mexico. Spends winters south to the desert regions of the southwestern U.S. from California to central Texas south into Mexico. Preferred habitats include deserts and scrublands.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"queat-queat", "toodle-oodle-oodle"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Altered fire regimes have caused declining habitat quality throughout their range. Frequent, cool-burning fires produce the best combination of open areas and short shrubs, but fires are now both less frequent and hotter.
  • The Black-throated Sparrow is also known as the Desert Sparrow, due to its preferred habitat of arid desert scrub. They can survive long periods of time without water, obtaining moisture from the seeds and insects that make up their diet.
  • The start of the breeding season is determined by the onset of midsummer rains in the desert, with second broods common in years with plentiful rainfall. Nests started later in the season have a greater chance of being parasitized by Bronzed and Brown-headed Cowbirds
  • A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Juan Costa

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
EyebrowX
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X