This is a rather plump and handsome sparrow. It exhibits plumage polymorphism: there are two morphs, “white-striped” and “tan-striped.” The stripes are on the head. Both morphs have yellow lores (the spot between the beak and the eye), white throats, brown/black/tan backs, and faint streaks on an otherwise plain front.
The white-throated sparrow is a ground nester; it builds a nest with three layers: moss followed by walls of twigs and other materials, finished off with a lining made with finer materials. This bird also forages on the ground, often scratching at the leaf bed to uncover food. Its song is a sweet, plaintive “hear sam peabody peabody peabody.”
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover. The white-throat winters in this region, and frequents thickets, yards, and wooded areas – precisely the kind of vegetation that is plentiful at the SBG.
When can I see it?
Mainly in winter. It migrates northward to its breeding grounds in spring and doesn’t return until cool weather sets in.