• WildlifeWildlife WatchingVermont Bird Records CommitteeHarris' Sparrow

    Vermont Rare Bird Reports 2019

    Common NameHarris' Sparrow
    Scientific NameZonotrichia querula
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation12/21/2018
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameCraig Provost
    Mailing AddressP.O. Box 1241
    Stowe, VT 05672
    United States
    Map It
    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed01/21/2019
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers


    Latitude of Observation43.9857754
    Longitude of Observation-73.2796886
    Place NamePaine Drive
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day11:50 AM
    Length of Time Observed45 to 60 seconds (including time taking photos)
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)25
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)25
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Overcast; limited wind.

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Kowa Genesis 10x40 binoculars

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Twice out west (Washington) and third time here in Vermont.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Mostly secondary growth along road; more mature woodland to the west and upslope.

    Behaviors Observed

    Bird responded to pishing which brought in other sparrows first. Visible while perched, and then flew into shrubbery.

    Description of Vocalizations

    Heard loud call note different than the White-Throated Sparrows which captured my attention.

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    Was viewing multiple birds as they came into view. Heard different call and turned in that direction, spotting the Harris' Sparrow. While continuing to watch the bird, pulled camera out with other hand, lowered bins, and took photos. Bird darted out of view after the third shot.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Noticeably larger than nearby junco. Also appeared larger and longer tailed than White-Throated.


    Black on crown, forehead and throat. Light brown cheeks and auriculars, black eye.

    Feet & Bill

    Bill bright pink. Legs not clearly seen.

    Upper Back

    Not clearly seen but brownish.

    Lower Back & Rump

    Not viewed.


    Brown with two thin white wingbars.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Black on throat extending down to top of chest; white below that. Black markings along the side of belly down to flanks.


    Long tail with no markings noted.

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Black forehead, face, and throat surrounding a bright pink bill eliminates all other sparrows.

    Other Notes & Comments

    Adult in non-breeding/winter plumage.

    NOTE: Submission to ebird not done after observation. This due to the original observer/homeowner not wanting it made public. This appears to have now changed as report of the bird has now appeared in Vermont Bird.

    This report was written from notes taken:Immediately After