The Harris’s Sparrow nests primarily in the boreal-tundra transition of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the northernmost parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
The species is primarily monitored on its wintering grounds in the U.S., where numbers have declined by nearly 60% since 1980. The Harris’s Sparrow was assigned the status of Special Concern on the basis of this trend, and concerns of ongoing threats such as habitat conversion, cat predation, and climate change.
Plumages vary. Harris’s Sparrows have dominance hierarchies in winter, with body size and the extent of black feathering on the bib contributing to a bird’s position in the hierarchy. The winter range is limited to the central United States.