White-throated Sparrow
Zonotrichia albicollis
Family Emberizidae

A typical species of the genus Zonotrichia, the White-throated sparrow is full-bodied, long-tailed, and winters in mixed flocks. It is more common in urban areas than most sparrows.

Identifying Tips (both sexes):

  • White throat patch
  • Yellow lore spots between eye and bill
  • Head stripes vary between individuals – black and white or brown and tan
  • Gray breast
  • Black and brown striped back
  • Grayish bill
  • Juveniles may have streaked breast
  • Size: 16-18 cm (6-7")
  • Weight: 22-32 g (0.78-1.1 oz)
 
  Adult  
     

Voice: Song a strong, unbroken whistle, “Old Sam Peabody” or “Oh Sweet Canada.”
Call a distinct tseep.

Range: The White-throated Sparrow can be found throughout the continental United States.

Habitat: Thickets, brush, undergrowth of coniferous and mixed woodlands. Also visits feeders but prefers to stay on the ground.

Interesting Facts: The White-throated sparrow comes in two color forms: individuals with black and white stripes and those with brown and tan stripes. This polymorphism of the White-throated sparrow is due to genetic differences and is unique among birds. Moreover, individuals almost always mate with a bird who displays their opposite morph.

 
 

 

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