Thursday, May 6, 2021

White-throated Sparrow

I agree with Wahl et al. in Birds of Washington that White-throated Sparrows are uncommon migrants and winter visitors in western Washington. Erika and I have only seen six since we moved here in 2019. Our seventh was this bird that Erika found for me along a road in the Billy Frank Jr Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on 5 May 2021. Breeding Bird Surveys indicate widespread decreases of White-throated Sparrow populations (Falls and Kopachena 2020). In western Washington, however, this species is now more frequently reported than historically. Wahl et al. are at a loss to explain this increase, but suggest human creation of sparrow habitat through clearing forests, increased bird feeding by the public, and more birders looking for this species. 

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