These birds forage on the ground or in low vegetation, but sometimes make short flights to catch flying insects. They mainly eat seeds, other plant parts and insects. In winter, they often forage in flocks.
White-crowned sparrows nest either low in bushes or on the ground under shrubs and lay three to five brown-marked gray or greenish-blue eggs.
The white-crowned sparrow is known for its natural alertness mechanism, which allows it to stay awake for up to two weeks during migration.
White-throated sparrows produce song laterally through the left side of their syrinx, and control of their syrinx involves both their central and peripheral nervous systems. After damage to motor control of the left side of the syrinx, individuals were still able to produce sound but their song pattern was distorted, indicating the left side chiefly controls their production of song. There are at least two distinct songs sung by this species. One consists of an initial note, followed by three or so repeated notes at an interval of about a major third above. The second song consists of an initial note, a second a whole step lower, and a third note, repeated two or three times, about a minor third below that.
I really do like sparrows. I’ve never thought of them as migratory birds, but I’ve gone from having a half-dozen at my feeders to as many as forty (or more) and I’m wondering if they might be getting ready for migration, like other species do.
Sparrows are migratory but not all of them, some of them stay local if the weather permits and have enough food to go though a mild winter. Thank you for sharing, Linda. 🙂
Nice to see these two compared, HJ! Wonderful shots too! 😊
Thank you very much, Donna. 🙂
Two singing sparrows, what a lovely tribute here, HJ. I love our white-crowned sparrows in Calif., but we don’t get to see the white-throated very often on this side of the country. So it was nice to see your beautiful photo highlighting his throat, and read about their singing mechanisms. Thank you HJ.
I see that you’re familiar with both of them. They are beautiful birds, very easy to love them when you see them and they thrill you with their songs. Thank you so much, Jet. 🙂
Love sweet little sparrows! Thank you for posting!
Thanks so much, Mary. 🙂
I love the song of the White-throated sparrow and have seen the White crowned sparrow a few times. always good to see.
I like both of them! Thanks, Jane.
When one thinks of sparrows you invariably think of drab little birds. These two break the stereotype beautifully. Another enjoyable post, thanks H.J!
Thank you very much, D. 🙂
Wonderful photo, and great description of their song. Cool
Thank you, Richard. 🙂