White-throated Sparrow

whtspa
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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Threatened

White-throated Sparrow

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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Focal Species
Dave Inman/Flickr Creative Commons
Cool Facts

There are two different plumage variations for the White-throated Sparrow: white-striped crowns or tan-striped crowns.

Birds with the white striped crowns tend to be more aggressive than their tan-striped counterparts.

A white-striped male sparrow will always mate with a tan-striped female sparrow and vice versa.


Climate change threatens to disrupt this familiar sparrow in both summer and winter seasons. By 2080, it is projected to lose 73 percent of its current summer range, according to Audubon’s climate models. Expansion potential exists primarily in winter, with the range shifting sharply north. Its breeding range currently mirrors the limits of the great boreal forests. As climates suitable for breeding shift northward, it’s unknown whether appropriate habitats will follow in lock-step.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.

About This Bird

The White-throated Sparrow is found in a variety of forests in North America. It predominantly breeds in Canada, east of the Rockies, and migrates south to the central and eastern United States for the winter. Both the male and female have grayish-brown bodies with white throat plumage, distinctive white, tan, and gray striping on their crowns, and yellow streaks above their eyes. In the summer this sparrow feasts on abundant insects, but in winter, when insects are scarce, it survives on seeds and fruit. The female builds her intricate nest on the ground with pieces of moss, grass, twigs, pine needles, and wood chips, and then lines it will grasses and deer hair.

Cool Facts

There are two different plumage variations for the White-throated Sparrow: white-striped crowns or tan-striped crowns.

Birds with the white striped crowns tend to be more aggressive than their tan-striped counterparts.

A white-striped male sparrow will always mate with a tan-striped female sparrow and vice versa.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

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Baird's Sparrow
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Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Cerulean Warbler
Common Loon
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Golden Eagle
Greater Sage-Grouse
Hooded Oriole
Mississippi Kite
Northern Shoveler
Osprey
Piping Plover
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous Hummingbird
Spotted Owl
Tundra Swan
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-billed Magpie