Harris’s Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow photographed at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha, WI on September 25th and 26th, 2013.

Harris's Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow

Binomial name: Zonotrichia querula

Category: Emberizids

Description: Brown face and back, both overlaid with black markings especially crown, face, and throat.  White on wings and underparts.  Pink bills and legs.

Size: 6.7″ – 7.9″ long, 11” wingspan

Weight: 0.92 oz. – 1.7 oz.

Habitat: Coniferous forests and tundras adjacent to bogs

Diet: Seeds, especially grass seeds, fruits, pine needles, and flower parts.  Scratches the ground to forage for food.

Nesting: Nests are built on the ground under the protection of a coniferous bush or in a bed of grasses.  Both parents construct the nest in mid-June using materials such as sticks, grasses, moss, and lichens.   The female will lay 3-5 eggs at a time, laying eggs at the end of June to the middle of July.  The young remain in the nest for about 3 weeks before becoming completely independent of their parents.

Notes: “Harris’s Sparrow” is named after ornithologist Edward Harris.  This bird will live nearly 12 years in the wild if not caught by a predator.  And, Harris’s Sparrow only breeds in Canada, the only bird to do so.

Harris's Sparrow

Harris's Sparrow

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

3 Responses to Harris’s Sparrow

  1. Nancy Nabak says:

    Bazinga! Congrats on your new life bird, Jim!~

  2. Pam Campbell says:

    Stunning shots of the Harris’s. And a life bird to boot! Way to go.

  3. Mary says:

    Congratulations, Jim. I’m wondering what tipped you off that you’d found a different bird. Was it his appearance (pink features), song or movement? Occasionally, I sense there’s a new creature (new to me) nearby, but I don’t always watch, listen or follow it long enough to make an ID.

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