White-throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4

WTSP

Code 6

ZONALB

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The White-throated Sparrow is a small passerine bird and is a member of the American sparrow family. Breeding grounds are located throughout central Canada and New England. Nests are built on the ground or low in trees, and are always well-camouflaged by low shrubs in the area. The preferred habitat of the White-throated Sparrow is deciduous and mixed woodlands. During winter months, this species will typically migrate southward to the southern and eastern United States. However, it is also a rare vagrant to western Europe. Diets consist mainly of seeds, insects and berries found on the ground in low vegetation. The conservation rating of the White-throated Sparrow is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

White-throated Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with rust-brown striped upperparts, conspicuous white throat, and plain gray underparts. Head has black-and-white striped crown and yellow spots between eyes and bill. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.


Range and Habitat

White-throated Sparrow: Breeds from Yukon and the Northwest Territories south to northeastern Minnesota and Pennsylvania, east to New England and Newfoundland. Spends winters in much of eastern U.S. and in small numbers in southwestern states. Nests in brushy or semi-open mixed woods, winters on wood lots, scrub lands, gardens, and backyards. Frequently visits bird feeders.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody", "tseep"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The White-throated Sparrow was first described in 1789 by Johann Friedrich Gmelin, a German naturalist, botanist and entomologist.
  • Individuals almost always mate with a bird of the opposite morph. Males of both color types prefer females with white stripes,and both kinds of females prefer tan-striped males.
  • It comes in two color forms: white-crowned and tan-crowned. The two color forms are determined by genetic differences, and are unique among birds.
  • A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for White-throated Sparrow

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

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.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X