White-throated sparrows reproduce seasonally, mainly during the spring when they have settled into northwestern Canada and northeastern United States. Zonotrichia albicollis lay 3 to 6 eggs, usually 4, in open-roofed nests they build for their young.
Young sparrows can breed in the first year after hatching.
Breeding interval: Usually females only lay eggs once each year, but sometimes after the first brood has left the nest, a female will lay eggs again and raise a second brood of chicks.
Breeding season: Breeding occurs each spring.
Range eggs per season: 3 to 6.
Average eggs per season: 4.
Range time to hatching: 3 to 4 weeks.
Range fledging age: 7 to 12 days.
Average fledging age: 9 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
Average eggs per season: 5.
It takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks for the young chick to hatch. Even then, first born sparrows are not well developed; they are altricial, missing feathers, one of the most important forms of insulation. Without feathers, Zonotrichia albicollis cannot fly. The newborn sparrow stays in the nest, waiting for its both parents to feed it and attend to its every need. It fledges 8 or 9 days after it hatches.
Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female)
- Anderson, W. 1994. "Zonotrichia albicollis: White-Throated Sparrow" (On-line). Accessed October 30, 2000 at http://www.orst.edu/pubs/birds/spaccts/spar.htm#wtsp.
- Brown, D. 1996. "Life History: Zonotrochia albicollis" (On-line). Accessed October 30, 2000 at http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i5580id.html.
- Wheye, D. 2000. "Birds of Stanford:White-throated Sparrow" (On-line). Accessed 4 April 2002 at http://www.stanfordalumni.org/birdsite/text/species/White-throated_Sparrow.html.
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