Harris’s Sparrow in Homer
Harris’s Sparrow Zonotrichia querula, Homer, 26 January 2013. (Click to enlarge photo.)
After spending over two months out of Alaska it was really nice to come back home to Homer this week and get in on some of the rare birds currently being seen on the Kenai. On 17 January 2013, Jackie McDonough found this Harris’s Sparrow near her home on Waddell Street in Homer. (She found it in the exact same spot that she found the Kenai’s first Western Meadowlark almost two years ago!) The Harris’s Sparrow has been seen periodically in this same area since it’s discovery.
Harris’s Sparrow is casual in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula. All of the records from the Kenai Peninsula come from the late fall and winter period and most pertain to birds attending feeders. I believe this is the sixth Harris’s Sparrow recorded in Homer. Elsewhere on the Kenai there is at least one Seward record, one Hope record and one from Cohoe, 24-25 October 1960–the first record for the Kenai Peninsula (Kessel and Gibson 1978).
Homer Records of Harris’s Sparrow:
- One, 17 January-present 2013.
- One, 12-15 January 2008 (NAB 62(2))
- One, 12 November 2005-8 January 2006 (NAB 60(2))
- Two (an immature and an adult), 19+ October 1985 (AB 40(1))
- One, 25 November-15 February 1984 (AB 38(2,3))
- One record prior to 1984–I’m still searching for the details; please contact me if you have any information.
- Kessel, B., and Gibson, D. D. 1978. Status and distribution of Alaska birds. Studies Avian Biol. 1.
- American Birds (AB), North American Birds (NAB)