The White-throated Sparrow is one of the jazziest sparrows at our feeders in winter with its black and white striped crown and yellow lores. In fact, Cornell’s website, All About Birds says,
Crisp facial markings make the White-throated Sparrow an attractive bird as well as a hopping, flying anatomy lesson. There’s the black eyestripe, the white crown and supercilium, the yellow lores, the white throat bordered by a black whisker, or malar stripe. They’re also a great entrée into the world of birdsong, with their pretty, wavering whistle of Oh-sweet-canada.
These sparrows spend their time scratching on the ground, beneath shrubs and undergrowth, looking for seeds. They also will eat berries and fruit, and insects. This opportunistic bird is sitting directly under the suet feeder, looking up to see if any crumbs are coming his way from the feeding woodpeckers.
The yellow lores are like head lights on a brightly-colored White-throated Sparrow!
Some aggressive Juncos chased the little bird away, and he took refuge in the Christmas tree, discarded near the feeders for just that purpose!
An interesting fact put forth by All About Birds concerns the two forms of this species:
- The White-throated Sparrow comes in two color forms: white-crowned and tan-crowned. The two forms are genetically determined, and they persist because individuals almost always mate with a bird of the opposite morph. Males of both color types prefer females with white stripes, but both kinds of females prefer tan-striped males. White-striped birds are more aggressive than tan-striped ones, and white-striped females may be able to outcompete their tan-striped sisters for tan-striped males.