British Columbia records of this secretive sparrow of the northern Great Plains are enigmatic and few details have been provided for most reported occurrences. In addition to the three records presented here, one additional record has been mentioned in the literature but is not included. Vocal recordings of as many as three suspected Baird’s Sparrows from Sea Island (Vancouver) between April 30 and June 16, 1978, were reviewed by biologists studying the species in Alberta and were shown to refer to misidentified Savannah Sparrows. As a result of this determination, this record has been omitted from this list despite the its regular appearance in published literature. In addition, the first two of the three records presented here are considered anomalous and should at best be considered hypothetical. The single specimen record is suspect due to chronic confusion surrounding the labeling of bird specimens from the early years of ornithological collection in the province (specimens were often labeled by the destination of the specimen rather than the origin of the specimen). Only the 2005 sight record, which was well-described by an experienced observer, is considered reasonably valid.
1.(1) unknown; June 1889; Vancouver
2.(1) adult; April 30, 1978; Stanley Park, Vancouver
3.(1) juvenile; September 9, 2005; Nanaimo River estuary
Note Authors: Rick Toochin and Jamie Fenneman