|Species: White-throated Sparrow
Sparrow is found breeding across Canada, including eastern British
Columbia and southern portions of the Yukon and Northwest
Territories. Migration is typically limited to central US.
White-throated Sparrows over-winter in southern and eastern US and
into Central America. Occasional migrants will winter as far west as
the coast of California.
White-throated Sparrows are a large sparrow species (6-7 inches
length), are full bodied, have a prominent pointed bill and a long,
narrow, slightly forked tail. In general, this sparrow has a brown
upper body, grey chest and belly, and an obvious stripe pattern on
Adult males have bold head patterns. The cap is striped black and
white, a black eye line, and a white throat. Distinct yellow patches
are located on the lores. The bill on the White-throated Sparrow is
grey. The upper body of this sparrow is brown with streaking and two
white bars are located on the wings. The chest is usually grey with
darker mottling. The White-throated Sparrow has a second “tan”
colour morph. The tan morph has similar body colouration; however
the striping pattern on the head is a brown and tan combination with
a yellow lores. The white morph can be difficult to distinguish from
the tan morph in their basic plumage.
Adult females have similar colour patterns to those of the male,
but are generally duller. Female White-throated Sparrows also occur
as a white or tan morph, with the same colourations as described for
Juveniles typically exhibit the tan and brown colouration of the tan
morph. This can make juveniles particularly difficult to identify
from adults in their basic plumage.
Juvenile Golden-crowned Sparrows have similar head stripe
patterns to the tan morph. As well, Song Sparrows have similar body
colouration but with heaver chest mottling. White-crowned Sparrows
have a similar bold head pattern but with an orange bill and lack
This sparrow typically travels in flocks of 30 to 50 individuals and
is frequently spotted on the ground, scratching through the leaf
litter for food. White-throated Sparrows eat the fruit of dogwoods,
elder, cedar, apple, maple, and oak trees. Their diet also includes
a mix of insects and seeds.
Habitat: White-throated Sparrows are common in wooded areas,
along forest edges, in logged or burned regenerating areas, and
along pond, swamp, or creek edges. In winter, these sparrows are
observed in overgrown fields, parks, and suburban areas.
species builds a cup nest in concealed wet thickets. Nests are
composed of grass and twigs and are lined with deer hair, feathers,
and grasses. Four to six eggs are laid between May and August. Eggs
are creamy to light green in colour with rust markings. Chicks
fledge seven to 12 days after hatching.
supports global, national, and provincially secure populations.
White-throated Sparrow breeding range includes the more
northern and interior areas of British Columbia. At Colony
Farm, hosting ideal habitat for stop-over of these medium
distant migrants, we captured a few individuals on their
southward migration. Capture rates are standardized as birds
captured per 100 net hours from 2010 - 2012.