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White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis


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White-throated Sparrow, tan-striped form
credit: NA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Emberizidae, New World Sparrows view all from this family

Description ADULT Has dark-streaked brown back and reddish brown wings with two white wing bars; rump and tail are gray-brown. Has dark crown; "White-striped" form has pale central stripe and broad supercilium (white behind eye, yellow-buff in front); "Tan-striped" form has yellow-buff central stripe and supercilium. All birds have white throat and gray cheeks and underparts, palest on belly and undertail coverts. JUVENILE Recalls adult, but is heavily streaked below; head markings are indistinct. First-winter recalls "Tan-striped" adult, but duller overall.

Dimensions Length: 6-7" (15-18 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly Apr-Aug) to northern mixed and deciduous forests; winters in dense wooded and brushy habitats, mainly in southeastern U.S. Present year-round in parts of northeast.

Observation Tips Often visits feeders.

Range Rocky Mountains, Northwest, Plains, Southeast, Western Canada, Alaska, California, New England, Great Lakes, Texas, Florida, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada

Voice Song is a piercing, whistling see-tsee-chrr-ch'd'd-ch'd'd; call is a sharp cheenk.

Discussion Woodland sparrow. Forms flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are similar, but two colour morphs occur.