The Le Conte’s Sparrow: An Idaho State Second, Not Seen Since the Late 1800’s

by Bryce W. Robinson


I spent the day birding with Jay Carlisle, Heidi Ware, Caitlin Davis, and a number of great folks with the Golden Eagle Audubon Society from Boise, Idaho. We ventured to the area around CJ Strike Reservoir in southern Idaho and found a great diversity of birds with a few highlights.

The bird of the day was easily a close and tolerant 2nd state Idaho record, the Le Conte’s Sparrow. We found out that the last record was a bird collected in the 1890’s. So, as Heidi aptly pointed out, this was the bird of the century!

It isn’t often that you find a rarity, everyone you are with gets incredible and sustained looks at the bird, and you get numerous great photographs. For whatever reason, the stars aligned and the experience was everything one could hope for.

Of course, this wasn’t the greatest find in the country today. Apparently, Jeff Bouton found an Amazon Kingfisher in south Texas. Thats a 2nd ABA area record. What a day!