Harris’s Sparrow

Zonotrichia querula
Range Map

Harris’s Sparrows are not often found in either the eastern or western states. They spend winters in the southern prairie states (Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas). Only in the far north of central Canada, predominantly Nunavut and Northwest Territory, can we find these birds in the breeding season. Typical migration, breeding, and winter seasons find these birds mid-continent, on the prairies through midwestern North America.

Summer birds show gray on the sides of their heads, which in winter turns to a light brown. Some may argue that their winter basic plumage is more handsome than their winter, or alternate plumage.

I’ve only met a single Harris’s Sparrow, and it was completely out of its native range at the Salton Sea in southern California. One day I hope to meet the species again in its home range.

Science does not recognise any subspecies (i.e. they are monotypic).

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