About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sparrow with racing stripes on head

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Most birds that winter in southern locations wait for just the right conditions and then migrate at night to their nesting grounds in the north. I’ve found that after breezy spring days, I’ll often see new birds have ridden the winds to my yard. When they arrive in the early morning hours these birds are cold, tired, and hungry. The first thing they will do is look for food.

This morning I saw my first White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). They always pass through mid-Michigan right before the warm weather arrives. Zonotrichia means “hairlike,” in reference to the striped heads of birds in this genus; albicollis is Latin for “white neck” in reference to the bird’s white throat.

You will see them in the leaf litter looking for bugs or under the feeders looking for sunflower seed or millet. He was actually a little early. I don’t usually see White-throats until the end of April. 

Related Articles:
-White-throated Sparrow fun facts
http://white-throated-sparrow-fun-facts.html
-Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
- Average dates for birds return to Michigan the in Spring? http://bit.ly/IMYNQe
- When is bird migration over? http://bit.ly/IMZ7OQ
- What to know about feeding birds in the spring http://bit.ly/I5s6h9

1 comment:

WisconsinWildMan said...

Like these guys so much, they are my ring tone. We had bunches of White Crowned and White Throated Sparrows at the same time last spring. Hoping for their arrival this year too.