Black-throated Sparrow at Darlington Fields near Oshawa

This rare Black-throated Sparrow, a vagrant from the deserts of western North America, fed among White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows at Darlington Fields, just east of Oshawa, Ontario, on 4 October 2019. It's molting from juvenile plumage to its formative or first year plumage. This is only the third record for Ontario. Tim Logan made this great find.


PLEASE WATCH VIDEO: Black-throated Sparrow foraging at Darlington Fields

It was a small pale sparrow with distinctive facial markings. Its black throat was not fully molted in and was uneven, darker on the left side. It still has dusky streaking across the breast and dark narrow shaft streaks on the back feathers. Black-throated Sparrows do not have an alternate (breeding/summer) plumage. Darlington Fields, Ontario, on 4 October 2019.


The Black-throated Sparrow liked to be near the fence, where sometimes it popped up and showed itself well. At times it was hard to see when it was feeding in the grass. Many birders saw it on the day it was found. It wasn't seen again after. Darlington Fields, Ontario, on 4 October 2019.


LINK: My previous sighting of Black-throated Sparrow in Ontario was at Port Burwell on 29 August 2009.  It was the second record for Ontario. The first was at Silver Islet, Thunder Bay, on 2 and 3 October 1992 (Ontario Birds Vol 11 No 2, August 1993)