White-throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis

White-throated Sparrow - Zonotrichia albicollis Atlanta, GA - Peachtree Park - February, 2013

White-throated Sparrow – Zonotrichia albicollis

There are two adult plumage variations of the White-throated Sparrow known as the tan-striped and white-striped forms.  On the white-striped form the crown is black with a white central stripe.   On the tan form, the crown is dark brown with a tan central stripe.  Both variations feature dark eyes, a white throat, yellow lores and gray bill. [1]   It’s the yellow lores we look for to help us know it’s a White-throated Sparrow and not a Song Sparrow.

The other thing that helps with identification is that White-throated Sparrows are only here in the Winter months. [3]  They stay year round in the Atlantic provinces of Canada.  In winter, they migrate to the southern and eastern United States.    [1]

White-throated SparrowThese birds forage on the ground under or near thickets or in low vegetation. They mainly eat seeds, insects and berries, and are attracted to bird feeders. [1]


References and Additional Information

[1]  Wikipedia: White-throated Sparrow
[2]  The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition – David Allen Sibley
[3]  Cornell – All About Birds: White-throated Sparrow
[4]  Cornell – All About Birds: White-throated Sparrow – sound
[5]  The Breeding Bird Atlas of Georgia – UGA Press: Schneider, Beaton, Keyes and Klaus, Eds.
[6]  Cornell – All About Birds: White-throated Sparrow – life history