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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Amphispiza bilineata
POPULATION: 29 million
HABITAT: Open, arid desert and shrubland
The handsome Black-throated Sparrow, also known as the Desert Sparrow, is most often found on dry desert hillsides and salt flats of the American Southwest, while some birds also migrate to or live year-round in Mexico. Its sweet song, a mix of tinkling notes and musical trills, is one of the characteristic sounds of this inhospitable landscape.
Like other desert species such as Greater Roadrunner and Cactus Wren, the Black-throated Sparrow can survive long periods without water, getting the moisture it needs from its food. Extra-efficient kidneys also help these birds retain water in their bodies.