March 18, 2009

Backyard Visitor: Harris's Sparrow

One bird that regularly visits out yard in the fall, winter, and spring seasons is the Harris's Sparrow. We usually have them every winter on and off, showing up sporadically. These sparrows have the a small range. In the winter they live in the Midwest from Southern South Dakota down through the plains to Texas. They spend the summer in northern Canada in the stunted boreal forests there. They can be found rarely from coast to coast and it is not uncommon to hear about them showing up miles from home. The number of Harris's Sparrows in our yard had increased in the past couple weeks. I think they are getting ready to head north. They sing quite often, giving away their hiding place in the bushes. I got a video of a non-breeding individual hopping around under my feeders today. I always like to watch them in the spring because they often transition from their non-breeding to their breeding plumage right in my backyard!


Lynne said...

Send one up here! I have for the last five years had one Harris' Sparrow visit my back yard for no longer than a few days. They are such handsome birds.

Tucker Lutter said...

I will try to send a Harris's Sparrow up your way. I don't know if it will work though because when I tried trading a Snowy Owl for a Gray-crowned Rosy Finch with a friend from Wyoming this winter it didn't work. Go figure!

Neil Gilbert said...

That's a pretty nifty bird to have in your back yard. I've only seen one in my entire life!