Language English Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing featuresThis sparrow has a grey breast, a white throat and a yellow spot between its eye and bill. The stripes on its head may be buff and brown or black and white. Its distinctive call sounds like: Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada. ReproductionThe male arrives from the south two weeks before the female. He is very vocal and aggressive. The nest, located near the ground, is hard to spot, because the female is unlikely to leave the eggs she is incubating when an intruder approaches. The female generally lays a single clutch of 4 to 6 eggs. DietThese birds eat animal and plant matter. In summer, insects (larvae and adults) make up most of their diet. The hatchlings are probably fed only animal matter. PredatorsTheir enemies are red squirrels and blue jays. Brown-headed cowbirds rarely lay their eggs in these birds' nests. HabitatThey mostly frequent the edges of mixed and coniferous forests. They nest in semi-open, second-growth woodlands. In Québec, they are also found in urban settings, in agricultural areas, thickets, along roadsides, lakes and rivers and in fallow fields. Ecology, behaviourGiven their preferred habitat, the population of white-throated sparrows has benefited from human settlement. During the nesting period, the parents utter distress calls whenever they sense danger. This attracts other birds and members of their species, which help to chase away and sometimes even attack potential foes. French nameBruant à gorge blanche Scientific nameZonotrichia albicollisPhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderPasseriformesFamilyPasserellidaeSizeLength: 16 to 18 cmWeightAverage: 25.9 g (19.0 to 35.4)Life spanRecord: 9 years 8 monthsStatusLeast Concern (IUCN). Common species: one of the most common sparrows in Québec in summer.