Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Tim Avery
Photo Copyright Tim Avery

Harris's sparrow, Zonotrichia querula, is a small migratory bird that breeds in Canada, but spends the winter in southwestern Canada and in much of the United States. Although Harris's sparrows are not common in Utah, they can be found throughout the state (especially in the southwestern part of the state) during the winter. Preferred winter habitats include thickets, woodlands, and scrub.

Harris's sparrows usually forage on the ground, eating grasses, seeds, fruits, and small invertebrates, such as insects and snails. The species also nests on the ground, with females laying four to five eggs during June. Females then incubate the eggs until they hatch, which usually takes about two weeks.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.