Harris's Sparrow

Zonotrichia querula


eBird Checklist S62144606
stakeout Harris’s Sparrow, Levant (2019-2020) [permission required]
Penobscot, Maine, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 44.9187, -69.0515 Map

Foraging or Eating

Media notes

Observation details

First found 6 December by Carol Belanger and seen yesterday by her and several others. This striking and large sparrow first showed itself today perched facing us in the trees behind the house. Later it landed on the deck railing and then on the snowy ground to feed on seed put out for birds. Viewed head on, the snowy white underparts set off by rich brown flanks and dark flank streaks, triangular bib of coalesced black blotches, blackish crown, and bright, orange-tan cheeks were most striking. The bright pink beak stood out as well and was thinly framed with black. There was a dark spot at the rear auriculars in the field of tan color. This was a medium large sparrow, with a somewhat large head that was occasionally moderately peaked. The tail was dark. The back was striped and vaguely showed two paler lateral braces. The wings were dark with two thin white wing bars. The eye color was not noted but appeared dark; the legs and toes were brownish pink. We noticed the bird tucking and seemingly favoring its left leg. The stance of this bird was typical of Zonotrichia sparrows, being perky and upright at times with tail slightly cocked. It chased off a titmouse on the same railing. Given the nearly completely black crown and extensively black bib, this would appear to be an adult, and males tend to be more extensively black, so perhaps that sex (but overlap in extent of black suggests assignment to gender not certain). This is a very rare visitor to Maine and the Northeast. I have seen the species numerous times in California, during winter in Oklahoma, and on the breeding grounds near Churchill, Manitoba.

Technical Information

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Lens model
EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Focal length
400 mm
Shutter speed
1/800 sec
Flash did not fire, auto
Original file size
2400 x 1600

Related Media

Same Observation

View All

Same Checklist

View All

Same Species

View All