Species names in all available languages
|English (United States)||Harris's Sparrow|
|French||Bruant à face noire|
|French (French Guiana)||Bruant à face noire|
|Spanish||Chingolo de Harris|
|Spanish (Mexico)||Gorrión de Harris|
|Spanish (Spain)||Chingolo de Harris|
Zonotrichia querula (Nuttall, 1840)
The Key to Scientific Names
Harris's Sparrow Zonotrichia querula Scientific name definitions
Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020
Text last updated December 2, 2016
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Conservation and Management
Effects of Human Activity
Shooting and trapping
Not known to occur, although in winter and spring foraging birds occasionally captured in Sherman live traps baited with grain (Cook 2004).
Pesticides and other contaminants/toxins
Ingestion of plastics, lead, etc
Not known to occur.
Collisions with stationary/moving structure or objects
Reported killed during fall migration at a television tower in Nebraska (Mollhoff 1979), but no information on numbers or frequency.
Degradation of breeding habitat
Because Harris' Sparrows breed only in isolated parts of northern Canada, it is unlikely that human activities on their breeding grounds will influence status in the foreseeable future. Potential causes of habitat loss include post-fire deforestation near the northern limit of tree growth (Black and Bliss 1980, Arsenault and Payette 1992, Flannigan et al. 2001) and reduction of forest-tundra area due to global warming (Rizzo 1988, Zoltai 1988, Payette et al. 2001).
Disturbance At Nest And Roost Sites
Direct human/research impacts
Daily visits to nest had no impact on birds breeding along Thelon River, Northwest Territories (Norment 1992a); otherwise, no data.
No national legal status in the United States or Canada, although protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Status listed as Yellow (declining species) on Audubon Watch List (National Audubon Society 2002a). Designated as a common bird in steep decline (CBSD) on Partners in Flight species assessment database (Partners in Flight Science Committee 2012). Although the Partners in Flight Species Assessment ranks Harris’s Sparrows as category 2, both for Threats to Breeding score and Threats to Non-breeding score, its Population Trend score is 5, indicating that the species has declined ≥ 50% over the last 30 years; the Harris’s Sparrow’s Continental Combined Score is 13, meaning that it is classified as a Continental Watch List species (Partners in Flight Science Committee 2012, Rich et al. 2004). Listed as a breeding Species of Continental Importance, Management Action Category, in the Arctic and Northern Forest Avifaunal Biomes (breeding range primarily in Bird Conservation Regions 3, 6, and 7; Rich et al. 2004). Listed as a priority species in five Bird Conservation Regions (19, 29, 21, 25, 36) in the heart of its winter range (USFWS 2002c). Listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 2 (Southwest) and nationally (USFWS 2002c). Several National Wildlife Refuges in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas support substantial numbers of Harris’ Sparrows during winter. Only the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary, Northwest Territories, in the central part of the breeding range protects breeding habitat, although a proposed National Park on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake would do that as well.
Measurements proposed and taken
No actions taken, other than listings described above (see Conservation Status). Continental population objectives in the Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan are a 100% increase in the Arctic and Northern Forest Avifaunal Biomes (Rich et al. 2004).