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Documentation of Harris's Sparrow

Observer Information

Reporter:  Polly Neldner 
Other Observers:  Paul Neldner, Megan Neldner; Polly Wren Neldner

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Harris's Sparrow
First Date/Time:  12/24/2010
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  10 to 15 minutes
County:  Huerfano
Specific Location:  151 County Road 359
La Veta, CO 81055

Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Rural backyard. Mixed deciduous, conifer trees..brushy area

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Swarovski 8.5 X 42mm and Nikon 8X32 mm binoclulars, 500mm camera lens
Distance:  12 ft.
Light:  Quite good early morning light, overcast day, fresh snow on the ground contributing to good contrast

Description of the Bird

Very large sparrow. Brown spotted head with white chin triangle. Pink Bill, white belly. Small inverted well defined spotted "V" on breast. White wing bars.
Behaviors: Very active. Behavior similar to Spotted Towhee. Actively scratching the ground and dashing back under cover.
Call: none heard
Plumage: First year

Similar Species Discussion

in with Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhees, Dark-eyed Juncos.
Made size comparison distinctive from Song Sparrow due to 1) Size 2) Pink Bill 3) Bold Markings 4) Bright White belly

Resources Used

Sibley's and Peterson's Guide to Birds

Previous Experience

Have had this species in the yard before, around 4 years ago.


Notes made DURING observation

Additional Information

Comments: Bird was so strikingly different from any others in the yard at the same time.
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Elevation: 7,000
Other Dates: Bird has been coming into feeder fairly regularly all morning long
Nearest Town: La Veta
Independent Observers: Polly Wren Neldner

Materials Available

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

12/24/2010 10:39:00 AM

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Location Map

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