Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)


French: Bruant à gorge blanche German: Weißkehlammer Spanish: Chingolo gorjiblanco

Fringilla albicollis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Pensilvania = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Hybrids between present species and Z. atricapilla, Z. leucophrys and nominate race of Junco hyemalis reported. Monotypic.


Canada (mainly E of Rocky Mts) from SE Yukon, WC & S Mackenzie, N & C Saskatchewan and N Manitoba E to Newfoundland, S to SC Alberta, S Saskatchewan, S Ontario, Vermont and Nova Scotia, and in NE USA S to N & E Minnesota, C Wisconsin, C Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and N Pennsylvania. In non-breeding season found in SE Canada (S Maritimes, SE Quebec, rarely S Ontario), in USA from S Wisconsin and S Michigan S to SC Florida and Gulf Coast, and from S Arizona E to S Texas, and in N Mexico (S to N Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, rarely to Sonora); also uncommonly along Pacific coast from extreme SW Canada (S British Columbia) S to extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California).

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; 19–35·4 g. A fairly large, long-tailed sparrow, polymorphic in head colour (a few birds intermediate). Has median crownstripe and broad... read more


Song a clear, loud whistle characteristically starting with lower note, this followed by 3 or 4... read more


Breeds in open coniferous and mixed forests, often in second growth following logging or fire, or... read more

Food and feeding

In summer a variety of insects, including dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata), Hymenoptera, heteropteran bugs, and larval beetles (... read more


Breeds from late May to early Aug; sometimes double-brooded. Socially monogamous; rarely polygamous. Exceptionally unusual in having two... read more


Short-distance to medium-distance nocturnal migrant. Females winter farther S on average than males... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to very common in appropriate habitat in many parts of range. Benefits from logging and fires. Has bred in N Germany (presumed to be escaped... read more

Recommended citation

Rising, J. (2019). White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 May 2019).