Bird of the Week, October 18, 2013,
White-throated Sparrow


White-throated Sparrow by Bill Hubick


White-throated Sparrows are a familiar sight in backyards and around bird feeders across the eastern United States each winter. Their sweet whistled song, described variously as “Poor Sam Peabody Peabody Peabody” or “Oh, Sweet Canada Canada Canada” can be heard throughout the day.


These sparrows have two adult plumage variations: taniped and whiteiped. On the whiteiped birds, the supercilium (eyebrow) and central crown stripe are white; these areas are tan in taniped birds. The two color morphs occur in approximately equal numbers, and interestingly, almost always pair with the opposite color morph when breeding.


Although the white-throated is one of our more common sparrow species, it is also one of the most frequent victims of window collisions, according to urban bird monitoring programs around the country. ABC's Collisions Program is working to increase awareness of this problem and offer solutions that will keep even our most common birds safer.




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