Documentation of White-throated Sparrow

Observer Information

Reporter:  Bill And Suzanne Wuerthele  745 Glencoe St.,   DENVER, CO  80220-5215
Other Observers:  Suzanne Wuerthele; Yes, I am the original finder. The bird is in my backyard

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  White-throated Sparrow
First Date/Time:  11/2/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  multiple observations each about two to three minutes long
County:  Denver
Specific Location:  745 Glencoe St
Denver, CO 80220

Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Bird is in our backyard. Yard has several large trees (crabapple; linden; locust); smaller trees (buckthorn; plum; chokecherry; serviceberry); and shrubs (mountain spray; viburnum; boulder raspberry; golden current; woods rose).

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Bausch and Lomb Elite 8x42 binoculars
Distance:  20 - 25 feet; measured with a tape after the fact
Light:  On November 2nd, the sky was overcast much of the day, but the light was good

Description of the Bird

Fairly large sparrow similar in size to House Sparrows and a White-crowned Sparrow feeding with it (see attached 3 photographs - taken at a distance through a window)
Appears to be a first winter bird, with slightly streaked, gray breast
Key - sharply delineated white throat against the slightly streaked gray breast
Bill is gray, head has a pale, narrow median crown-stripe, rump is un-streaked and tail is notched (no sign of yellow lores)
Behaviors: Feeding on scattered seed on the ground with House Sparrows, House Finches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and one White-crowned Sparrow. When not feeding spends time in a Woods Rose tangle.
Call: not vocal
Plumage: first winter

Similar Species Discussion

Separated from White-crowned Sparrow by gray bill (v. yellowish/pinkish bill for White-crowned), very narrow median crown stripe v. broader, tan median stripe of White-crowned, lack of a sharply delineated white throat, and a general scruffy look compared to the clean, upright look of the White-crowned
Separated from Swamp Sparrow by size, bill color and notched tail (v. rounded tail in Swamp Sparrow)
Separated from Song Sparrow by lack of strong breast and flank streaking and lack of wide, brown lateral throat stripes

Resources Used

The Sibley Guide to Birds; Sparrows of the United States and Canada (Beadle and Rising)

Previous Experience

moderate; I grew up in the East and have experience with White-throated Sparrows


Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Comments: I have three photographs I would like to submit, but I don't know how to do that in this format (when I tried to add a photograph earlier today, the entire report form disappeared). I could email photographs separately if given an email address. I am submitting this report only because the current Denver County list does not show a White-throated Sparrow. I'm not sure how current the published list is, but I thought I should report this bird just in case there is no other record. We live in urban Denver near Colorado Blvd and 6th Ave.
Time: Various times throughout the day from morning until late afternoon
Elevation: approx 5300 feet
Other Dates: 11/03/2011
Nearest Town: Denver
Independent Observers: Yes, I am the original finder. The bird is in my backyard

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

1/6/2012 5:05:00 PM