Black-throated Sparrow Photograph, Nest With Eggs, and Sound Recording

Photo by Earle Robinson

Black-throated Sparrow Perched Black-throated Sparrow

A permanent resident in the Sonora desert, the Black-throated Sparrow is often found in mixed flocks of White-crowned Sparrows and Brewer's Sparrows in the wintertime. This bird spends a great deal of time on the ground looking for seeds. In the winter it can be heard to sing a bell-like tinkle while it looks for food. In the summer the flocks of sparrows are gone, replaced with pairs awaiting the correct conditions for raising young. The summer range is much larger than the winter range in the United States. The birds can be found in all the states surrounding Arizona in the summer. Once enough food is available in the desert (insects are required for feeding young) then nest building begins, usually close to the ground. The best of the desert-adapted sparrows, the Black-throated Sparrow can satisfy all its water requirements from the seeds and insects it eats, but it will take advantage of spring water if available.

Nest Photo by Greg Clark, May 1997






Black-throated Sparrow nest with eggs
The photograph of the nest with eggs on this page was taken near Kitt Peak. The small cup-shaped nest was built under a prickly pear cactus. Finding a nest like this is very difficult and usually they are discovered by accident when you walk near the nest and the bird flies up from the ground.







Here an adult carries food to the nest, July 1, 2007 North of Roosevelt Lake, AZ. Both adults carry food to the hungry baby birds.

The original Black-throated Sparrow sound recording was produced using a Sennheiser MKH70 shotgun microphone and the audio was stored on a 48 ksps DAT using a Tascam DA-P1 digital audio recorder. The recording was down-sampled to 44.1 ksps and converted to MPEG3 to reduce the file size. The recording was made July 7, 1996 at Muleshoe Ranch near Wilcox, AZ. The distance from the microphone to the bird is about 30 feet.

download mpeg3 recording (bts.mp3)

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Copyright Greg Clark, 1999

update 8/2012