We’ve been hearing a clear, sad, whistling song in our back yards for the past few days, and the neighbors have been asking about it. There are lots of other bird sounds these days, but this one really stands out. There are several variations. One version has the first note lower than the rest, like this recording. Another has a similar melancholy quality but a bit more melody, like this recording.
The bird that sings this song is a small, brownish and grayish sparrow. It looks unremarkable from a distance but has a stunning head if you see it close through stealth or binoculars. It’s called the White-throated Sparrow:
Don’t mistake it for the similar White-crowned Sparrow, which lacks a white chin:
Enjoy these migrant sparrows while you can. Soon they will head north to breed.