Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 22, 2012

White-throated Sparrow at Boyce

Filed under: Birds, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, favorite places, rarities — richditch @ 5:17 pm
White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Another day, another uncommon bird in AZ.

White-throated Sparrow is primarily a  bird of the eastern U.S., but a few can be found every winter in AZ. They are closely related to the White-crowned Sparrow and are usually found flocking with them. In the eastern U.S. their roles are reversed: White-throated is the common bird and white-crowned is the prize to seek out in winter flocks of white-throats.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

I see one or two about every three years it seems, and almost always I see them at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

This bird was seen at Boyce on January 19 in the area I always look for them – along the main canyon trail between the palm trees and the herb garden. As I scanned the bushes on the north side of the trail I noticed movement which brought my eye directly to this bird. Before I could get a photo it dropped out of sight. But I quickly relocated it along a side path where another photographer had sprinkled some cracked corn and was taking shots of white-crowns. The white-throat hung back and preferred the shadows so it took a while to get a few frames in the sun. I still needed to make significant crops of the images (30% for the top image, 37% for the bottom shot). I’m already thinking it might be worth another visit this week to try for better photos.

Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E (2x), ISO 800, 1/800th second at f/8, spot meter, Gitzo 1325 tripod with RRS BH-55 ball head and Sidekick.



  1. Neat find Rich. Good luck getting closer on your next trip to Boyce.

    Comment by rondudley — January 22, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  2. I used to have these at my feeders back east in large numbers during the winter, they are beautiful!

    Comment by Mia McPherson — January 23, 2012 @ 5:29 am

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