My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

White-throated Sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

White-throated Sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis

The White-throated Sparrow is a passerine bird of the American sparrow family Emberizidae.

There are two adult plumage variations known as the tan-striped and white-striped forms. On the white-striped form the crown is black with a white central stripe. The supercilium is white as well. The auriculars are gray with the upper edge forming a black eye line.

On the tan form, the crown is dark brown with a tan central stripe. The supercilium is tan as well. The auriculars are gray/light brown with the upper edge forming a brown eye line. Both variations feature dark eyes, a white throat, yellow lores and gray bill. There is variation and some individuals may show dark lateral stripes of each side of the throat.

They almost always pair with the opposite color morph for breeding. The two color morphs occur in approximately equal numbers. Both male and female white-striped birds are more aggressive than tan-striped birds during the breeding season.

These 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

White-throated Sparrows breed in central Canada and New England. They nest either on the ground under shrubs or low in trees in deciduous or mixed forest areas and lay 3-5 brown-marked blue or green-white eggs.

On to my photos:

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow


This is number 53 in my photo life list, only 297 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!



4 responses

  1. My daughter is counting bird species right now. She just started in January and she’s got something like 15. Of course she’s living in New York City, so that’s her excuse. Nice pics!

    March 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    • Thank you, I wish your daughter well in her endeavor!

      March 13, 2013 at 12:57 am

  2. A handsome bird.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    • Thanks Tom!

      March 13, 2013 at 1:02 am