eWestern BirdsThe Quarterly Journal of Western Field Ornithologists
Vol. 52, No. 3
Western Field Ornithologists
Update on the Status and Breeding Phenology of the Timberline Sparrow (Spizella breweri taverneri) in Alaska
Claire M. Stuyck, Paul B. Leonard,
Gerald V. Frost, Michelle L. S. Lake,
and Jeffrey D. Walters
ABSTRACT: In July 2020 we located 10 singing Timberline Sparrows [Spizella (breweri) taverneri] in the region of Gold Hill, Nutzotin Mountains, east-central Alaska. All birds were on southeast-facing slopes in the ecotone between subalpine scrub and alpine tundra, to which habitat breeding Timberline Sparrows seem narrowly confined. The population’s estimated density of 0.77 birds/km2 was similar to that at the time of its discovery in 1994. We located the first active nest of the Timberline Sparrow reported for Alaska, ~0.3 m above the ground in a shrubby resin birch (Betula glandulosa). An observation of young fledged on 11 or 12 July 2020 implies egg laying in the third week of June, later than the beginning of the breeding season of Spizella (breweri) breweri.