Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

What’s that Sound? A White-throated Sparrow April 29, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Seasons,Spring — saltthesandbox @ 2:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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:

Adult White-throated Sparrows have a white chin, black-and-white cap, and a bit of yellow in front of the eye.

Adult White-throated Sparrows have a white chin, black-and-white cap, and a bit of yellow in front of the eye.

Don’t mistake it for the similar White-crowned Sparrow, which lacks a white chin:

Adult White-crowned Sparrows have a black-and-white cap, but NO white chin and NO yellow in front of the eye. Photo by Ethan Gyllenhaal.

Adult White-crowned Sparrows have a black-and-white cap, but NO white chin and NO yellow in front of the eye. Photo by Ethan Gyllenhaal.

Enjoy these migrant sparrows while you can. Soon they will head north to breed.

 

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