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
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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