Monday, March 17, 2014

March 16-18--SAGEBRUSH SPARROW in Lardeau (N end of Kootenay Lake)

Marlene Johnston photographed this sparrow on March 16th as it fed with Juncos in Lardeau, BC. Formerly known as "Sage Sparrow" with less than 20 records for BC, this species has been recently split into Bell's Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow. Presumably all BC birds are the latter as they breed in south/central Washington State and migrate north around this time of year. This bird looks fairly good for the Sagebrush-types, but identification of this complex in the field is still being sussed out so conservatives may prefer to call this a "Sage Sparrow sp."
Whatever it is--it's very rare in BC!
Bird is still present as of March 18--Gary Davidson sends this photo from the 17th.

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