Harris’s Sparrow

This central arctic breeding sparrow is a poor candidate for arrival to the Pribilof Islands shores. The species is regarded as casual anywhere in the state of Alaska. Nonetheless, a sharp-eyed local on Saint George noticed an odd bird coming in to seed at his feeders and took a few photographs. Two years later those photos were reviewed by Saint Paul Island Tour Staff and are clearly those of a first-year Harris’s Sparrow. Unfortunately, we do not have record of the exact date of the sighting, having merely the information that it was late September or early October of 2004. This record represents the sole sighting of this species from the Bering Sea region. Harris’s Sparrows can be quickly separated from their closest relatives, the Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows by their black collar, pink bill and blackish crown.