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Black-throated Sparrow

ID Info
Silhouette SparrowsSparrows
Black-throated SparrowAmphispiza bilineata
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae

Basic Description

This resident of open, shrubby deserts is one of the sharpest-looking of all sparrows. Black-throated Sparrows have neat gray faces set off by two bold white stripes and a neat black triangular patch on the throat. The face pattern jumps out when the bird is perched in the open, but at other times the soft brown back and pale underparts help it blend in with its desert home. You'll have to listen intently for little tinkling calls as these quiet birds forage on the ground for seeds and insects.

More ID Info
image of range map for Black-throated Sparrow
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Despite the boldly marked face, Black-throated Sparrows can be easy to overlook if they are not perched in the open. Their desert-washed bodies and quiet songs and calls can be hard to locate, but sound is often the best way to find them: listen for tinkling sounds gently rising from ground level. In the spring, males tend to sing from shrub tops and are easier to spot.

Other Names

  • Chingolo Gorjinegro (Spanish)
  • Bruant à gorge noire (French)

Backyard Tips

Within their range, Black-throated Sparrows sometimes visit backyards to eat seeds such as black oil sunflower. This map shows approximate locations where Project FeederWatch participants have reported Black-throated Sparrows in their backyard counts over the years.

  • Cool Facts