Date: 10/9/17 5:40 pm From: Danny Akers <birdmandan1231...> Subject: [ia-bird] Possible White-throated x White-crowned Sparrow - Ames
This afternoon / evening I observed a rather interesting Zonotrichia Sparrow in my Ames yard. On two observations, both of which I heard the bird before seeing it, it sounded like a slightly odd White-throated, perhaps a bit more muddled and less piercing than one would typically expect.
The bird superficially looked like our traditional White-crowned, with a bold (thick) black eyeline and lores, white crown stripe, and had a dull yellowish bill. However, the bird had a blazing white throat with semi distinct lateral throat stripes, bordered by more white. Some faint streaking was evident on the sides up to and forming a slight "necklace" of streaking at the top of the breast, below the throat. I did not detect any hint of yellow in the lores, and aside from the throat and streaking I would have called this bird a fairly straightforward White-crowned.
I was unable to photograph or record audio of the bird, but with rain in the forecast tomorrow I should have a bit more time around the house to monitor my feeding station.
I'd love to hear any additional thoughts or input. In the limited searching I've done, this seems to be a relatively rare hybrid combo.