Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Near Threatened

Harris's Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula)


French: Bruant à face noire German: Harrisammer Spanish: Chingolo de Harris

Fringilla querula


, 1840,

few miles west of Independence, Missouri, USA




Canada from N Mackenzie (possibly from Yukon) E to C Nunavut, S to NE Saskatchewan, N Manitoba and NW Ontario. Winters in C & S USA primarily from SW South Dakota, N Nebraska and C Iowa S, E of foothills and W of Mississippi R, to SC & C Texas.

Descriptive notes

16–19 cm; 28·4–48·8 g. A large sparrow with long tail. Has crown, eyestripe, face, chin and throat black, eyestripe brownish-buff in fresh (autumn)... read more


Song consists of one to several clear whistled notes in same minor key, often following other notes... read more


Found at forest–tundra interface in islands of white spruce (Picea glauca), black... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, also spruce needles; in winter eats seeds and fruits. Forages principally on or close to ground; in breeding season also... read more


Season mid-Jun to mid-Jul, nest-building beginning when snow-melt has occurred (typically, first half Jun); single-brooded. Monogamous. On... read more


Migratory; entire population migrates through a relatively narrow corridor between breeding and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Often common or very common in appropriate habitat. Relatively little known. Breeds in remote and isolated... read more

Recommended citation

Rising, J. (2020). Harris's Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).