In “On the Move,” our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured White-throated Sparrow, pictured above, in our December 2014 issue.
Familiar White-throated Sparrow breeds across the boreal forest of Canada and in the north-central and northeastern United States and winters in the eastern, southern, and Pacific states. These maps show where the bird was found in July and December from 2003 to 2013. In July, it was reported from western Canada to Newfoundland and across the northern states. Outliers were seen in Alaska, Texas, and other locations. In December, sparrows were recorded across southern Canada and throughout the eastern half of the U.S. The concentration was heaviest from eastern Texas to Connecticut. Along the Pacific coast, where the birds are uncommon to rare in coastal brush, they were observed from British Columbia to southern California. Purple squares in inland areas represent uncommon records — often single birds but sometimes small groups. Birders in the Interior West should watch for the species among flocks of other Zonotrichia sparrows.
eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the December 2014 issue of BirdWatching. Subscribe.Originally Published