White-throated Sparrow

ID Info
Silhouette SparrowsSparrows

White-throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae
Basic Description

Crisp facial markings make the White-throated Sparrow an attractive bird as well as a hopping, flying anatomy lesson. There’s the black eyestripe, the white crown and supercilium, the yellow lores, the white throat bordered by a black whisker, or malar stripe. They’re also a great entrée into the world of birdsong, with their pretty, wavering whistle of Oh-sweet-canada. These forest sparrows breed mostly across Canada, but they’re familiar winter birds across most of eastern and southern North America and California.

More ID Info
image of range map for White-throated SparrowRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Look for White-throated Sparrows on the ground in woods and at brushy edges. In winter these birds often forage in large flocks and they sometimes make themselves easier to find by singing their easily recognizable, whistled song. With a bit more practice you can recognize their sharp chip note, often given by an alert bird in a conspicuous perch. White-throated Sparrows often come to investigate if you make pishing sounds.

Other Names
  • Chingolo Gorjiblanco (Spanish)
  • Bruant à gorge blanche (French)

Backyard Tips

White-throated Sparrows readily visit feeders or peck at fallen seeds beneath them. They feed on millet as well as sunflower seeds. If you make a brush pile in your yard it will give White-throated Sparrows a place to take cover in between trips out into your yard to feed. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

  • Cool Facts