We see and hear White-throated Sparrows as they pass through on their way north. White-throated sparrows winter just south of the Decorah area, returning to nest in northern forests in the US and Canada between mid-April and mid-May. During the winter, white-throated Sparrows eat seeds and dried fruit, including ragweed, buckwheat, hemp, sumac, grape, cranberry, mountain ash, rose, blueberry, blackberry, and dogwood. People just south of Decorah might also see them eating millet and black oil sunflower seeds at birdfeeders during the winter. In spring, White-throated Sparrows eat the buds, blossoms, and young seeds of oak, apple, maple, beech, and elm as they work their way north.
Female White-throated Sparrows nest on or slightly above the ground, usually under shrubs, grasses, ferns, or dead vegetation from the previous year. They build their well-concealed, open-cup nests from moss, grass, twigs, weeds, and pine needles and line them with fine grass, rootlets, and animal hair.
Female White-throated Sparrows lay one to six eggs per clutch and may produce up to two broods per year. They incubate eggs for 11-14 days and young leave the nest seven to 12 days after hatching. To learn more, visit Cornell’s website.