|Black-throated Sparrow. Anza-Borrego Desert, California. January 26, 2014. Greg Gillson.|
This small bird is smartly patterned. The gray head has a white line over each eye and another on the lower border of the cheeks. There is a large inverted triangle of black on the throat and chest. They are invariably found on the hottest south facing desert slopes, running on the gravel ground between the sparse vegetation.
The first I saw were in Arizona as a teenager when I traveled by Grayhound from Oregon to visit my grandparents. They spent the winters camped out on the desert. I visited during spring break in high school, March 1977. Then I rode back with them to Oregon.