Harris's Sparrow

Zonotrichia querula

General Status Rank: 
Sensitive
ELCODE: 
ABPBXA4050
Common Name: 
Harris's Sparrow
Scientific Name: 
Zonotrichia querula
Taxonomy
Group: 
Bird
Kingdom: 
Animalia
Phylum: 
Chordata
Class: 
Aves
Order: 
Passeriformes
Family: 
Passeridae
References: 
General Biology
Canada Known Subspecies Count: 
0

Longevity

oldest known 11 years
References: 
Reproduction Frequency Per Year: 
0

Economic/Human Considerations

Non-game species
References: 
Habitat
trees between forest and tundra region; In the Northwest Territories the species generally nests in shrubby vegetation dominated by Dwarf Birch, alder (Alnus spp.), and willow (Semple and Sutton 1932; Harper 1953; Norment 1992b), while in Churchill, Manitoba the species is most common at the edge of spruce and tamarack forests (Gillespie and Kendeigh 1982), in clearings, and at the edges of burned areas (Semple and Sutton 1932; Norment et al. 2016).(COSEWIC 2017)
References: 
Distribution

Ecozones

Southern Arctic, Taiga Plains, Taiga Shield
References: 

Distribution

0.42; Range is northern half of NWT (>400,000 sq km). Range extent visually estimated from range map (Canadian Wildlife Service – Prairie & Northern Region 2009. Bird distributions in Nunavut & the Northwest Territories: 2009 Review.) In the Northwest Territories the species’ range extends west to the Mackenzie River delta, and possibly into extreme northeastern Yukon (Eckert pers. comm. 2015). The southwestern edge of the range extends from the northwestern Northwest Territories across the south of Great Bear Lake, to northeastern Saskatchewan (eBird 2016; Norment et al. 2016). (COSEWIC 2017).
Score: 
G
References: 
Winter Distribution Description: 
southern BC to southern US

Number of Occurrences

References: 

Historical Distribution

Likely similar to current dist.
References: 

Area of Occupancy

stable? Need data to confirm for NWT
Score: 
-
References: 
Population

Population Size

North American population est. 3.7 million (100% of breeding population in Canada) (LA01, LA12); Not enough data to generate population estimate (DD16); The global population, which breeds exclusively in Canada, is estimated at 500,000 – 5,000,000 individuals, with the most recent estimates indicating ~2,000,000 individuals.(R2017009)
Score: 
H

Density

Along Thelon River NWT 13 pairs/ 1 square kilometer; density may be higher in preferred habitat
Threats

Threats

Little human disturbance in the NWT, threats are thought to be low Threats classification system (COSEWIC 2014), resulted in an overall score for Harris’s Sparrow of high to medium.
Score: 
BC
References: 

Intrinsic Vulnerability

due climate change likely in next 10 yrs
Score: 
A
References: 
General Status Rank
Rank: 
Sensitive
Status Rank Description: 
Species has wide range but little is known about the population size or trends. Data from the Christmas Bird Count suggests the species is declining but data can not be extrapolated to specific breeding regions. Very little data on this species to reliably assign rank therefore ranked as undertermined.
S Rank: 
S3
Decision Process Description: 
Drafted by Leslie Wakelyn and S. Carriere mostly based on printed material in 2000; Reviewed in 2005 by Craig Machtans and L. Armer - no change in status.; Reviewed in 2010;no change; Reviewed by Emily Upham-Mills CWS in 2015, modified from sensitive to undetermined due to uncertainty on numbers and trends (error correction); Reviewed in 2020, modified from undetermined to sensitive based on detail assessment, new information, increased risk.
Last Updated: 
September 17, 2020
Status Designations

NWT - Assessment by Species at Risk Committee

NWT SARC Assessment: 
Not Applicable
Species under federal jurisdiction

NWT - Species at Risk Legal Status

Species under federal jurisdiction

Canada – Assessment by Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

COSEWIC Status: 
Special Concern
2017; Designated Special Concern in April 2017. COSEWIC. 2017. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Harris's Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula) in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. 54 pp.

References

Area of Occupancy

  • Downes, C.M., E.H. Dunn and C.M Francis (2000) Canadian Landbird Monitoring Strategy: monitoring needs and priorities into the new millenium.. Partners in Flight - Canada A 9-15 EC-CWS, Yellowknife (L. Wakelyn) - or communicate with Erica H. Dunn, CWS in Hull, QC, at erica.dunn@ec,gc,ca - LWR01 Return
  • Rich, T. D., C. J. Beardmore, H. Berlanga, P. J. Blancher, M. S. W. Bradstreet, G. S. Butcher, D. W. Demarest, E. H. Dunn, W. C. Hunter, E. E. Iñigo-Elias, J. A. Kennedy et al. (2004) Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Partners in Flight (VERSION: March 2005). website. http://www.partnersinflight.org/cont_plan/ - R148 Return
  • COSEWIC (2017) Harris’s sparrow (Zonotrichia querula): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2017. COSEWIC https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/harris-sparrow-2017.html - R2017009 Return

Economic Status

  • Wakelyn, Leslie (2000) Pers. communication. Wildlife biologist, CWS, Yellowknife - H129 Return

Ecozones

  • Godfrey WE (1986) The Birds of Canada. National Museums of Canada Revised Edition RWED Library Call #QL685.G6 - B004 Return

Habitat

  • Godfrey WE (1986) The Birds of Canada. National Museums of Canada Revised Edition RWED Library Call #QL685.G6 - B004 Return
  • Wakelyn, Leslie (2000) Pers. communication. Wildlife biologist, CWS, Yellowknife - H129 Return
  • COSEWIC (2017) Harris’s sparrow (Zonotrichia querula): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2017. COSEWIC https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/harris-sparrow-2017.html - R2017009 Return

Historical Distribution

  • Wakelyn, Leslie (2000) Pers. communication. Wildlife biologist, CWS, Yellowknife - H129 Return

Intrinsic Vulnerability

  • COSEWIC (2017) Harris’s sparrow (Zonotrichia querula): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2017. COSEWIC https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/harris-sparrow-2017.html - R2017009 Return

Longevity

  • Norment, C.J., Shackleton, S.A. (1993) Harris's Sparrow inBirds of North America. No.64 The Academy of Natural Sciences and The American Ornithologists' Union Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. - LA19 Return

Number of Occurrences

  • Carrière, S. (2000) Pers. communication. Ecosystem Management Biologist; RWED - H126 Return

Population Size

Rich, T.D., Beardmore, C.J., Berlanga, H., Blancher, P.J., Bradstreet, M.S.W., Butcher, G.S., Demarest, D.W Dunn, E.H., Hunter, W.C., Inigo-Elias, E.E., Kennedy, J.A., Martell, A.M., Panjabi, A.O.,et al. (2004) Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan (janv-04). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithica, NY http://www.partnersinflight.org/cont_plan/default.htm - LA01 Return
,
Dunn, E. (2005) National Action Needs for Canadian Landbird Conservation, Version 1. Canadian Wildlife Service Landbird Committee, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Canada http://www.cws-scf.ec.gc.ca/birds/action/index_e.cfm - LA12 Return
,
Partners in Flight Science Committee 2013. Population Estimates Database, version 2013. Available at http://rmbo.org/pifpopestimates. Accessed on <January 25, 2015>. (2013) http://rmbo.org/pifpopestimates - DD16 Return
,
COSEWIC (2017) Harris’s sparrow (Zonotrichia querula): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2017. COSEWIC https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/harris-sparrow-2017.html - R2017009 Return

Range Extent

  • Godfrey WE (1986) The Birds of Canada. National Museums of Canada Revised Edition RWED Library Call #QL685.G6 - B004 Return
  • COSEWIC (2017) Harris’s sparrow (Zonotrichia querula): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2017. COSEWIC https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/harris-sparrow-2017.html - R2017009 Return

Taxonomy

  • Godfrey WE (1986) The Birds of Canada. National Museums of Canada Revised Edition RWED Library Call #QL685.G6 - B004 Return

Threats

  • COSEWIC (2017) Harris’s sparrow (Zonotrichia querula): COSEWIC assessment and status report 2017. COSEWIC https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry/cosewic-assessments-status-reports/harris-sparrow-2017.html - R2017009 Return