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Thursday, October 11, 2007

White-throated Sparrows

White-throated Sparrow, tan striped morph

White-throated Sparrow, black-and-white striped morph, winter

We have lots of White-throated Sparrows migrating now through our area of southern NH. Sparrows may be an acquired taste, since they're not as splashy beautiful as, say a Cardinal with its crimson coloring. But, with patience and careful looking, you can get into sparrows and appreciate their subtle colorings, and also learn to identify them. White-throated Sparrows have, you guessed it, white throats. They come in two morphs, but are the same species. One morph has a black-and-white striped head, which becomes duller in winter. The other morph has a tan-and-brown striped head. Note the yellow mark between the eye and the bill.
We put out mixed bird seed that contains lots of millet, since that is a favorite of sparrows. We sprinkle it directly on the ground (clean up any leftovers before they become old), or offer it in a platform feeder placed near the ground. Right now, they're are the seed practically as fast as we put it out. White-throated Sparrows are widespread during migration and winter across much of the country, so look for them coming to your feeders.

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