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A distinctly patterned sparrow

The amazing year of vagrants we have been having in 2014 in Vermont acquired another star this past Saturday when birders Eric Hynes and Ali Wagner found a Harris’s Sparrow on Basin Harbor Rd. in Bridport. Harris’s Sparrows generally stay in the middle of the continent, breeding in northern Canada and wintering in the central plane states from South Dakota to Texas. They can be fairly regular vagrants outside their range, but this is only the 4th time one has been documented in Vermont. This bird appears to have found a spot it likes, having been seen for three days straight moving from a hedge-lined swale to a house with an active feeder across the road. The precise location, just south of Market Rd. on Basin Harbor Rd, can be seen on a map at this eBird hotspot. We urge all birders who try to find the bird to report their sighting to eBird using this hotspot.

And for an overview of many of the rare birds found in the state this year, have a look at the Vermont Bird Records Committee’s 2014 report (pdf).

– Ron Payne