I came across a fact and am wondering if anyone can add to the list of birds that nest only in Canada. Now ... I know of two. One is a species of bird ... the second is a subspecies. I thought it would be fun to not revel these two birds just yet. 

So here is my list of two birds .... I'll fill in the blanks later :)

  1. edit ... Harris's Sparrow
  2. edit ... Ipswich Sparrow - a subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow, which nests only on Sable Island.

edit 5:02pm ... wow ... see Ralph's reply below. There could possibly be many more!


So there you have it ... can anyone name birds that nest exclusively in Canada?

ps ... my list might be wrong and there may be more.

pss I don't think either of these were widely considered for that Canada national bird contest a year or two ago.


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So ... isn't that cool and interesting ... with the help of Denis and Ralph ... I think we can confirm ... that only two birds on plant Earth (and I think we can include the universe) nest exclusively in Canada ... both sparrows ... Harris's Sparrow and Ipswich Sparrow.

Okay ...... Subspecies ...... 1st we have to decide which are recognized subspecies (that's a moving target) and which are simply variants of a recognized species. (Think Bridled Murre or Blue Snow Geese). And then there are variants of recognized subspecies.

Everyone will likely jump on "Ipswich" Sparrow. It's pretty safe to say they only breed in Canada.

However, do we only count those that breed on Sable Island?  Ipswich type Savannah Sparrows have been reported breeding on Atlantic coastal Nova Scotia.  

There are also subspecies from Labrador and from Hudson Bay which breed exclusively in Canada.

The Savannah Sparrow has at least 12 named subspecies.

The Song Sparrow has some 29 recognized subspecies. No doubt we can claim one or two of those.

There's one Nelson's Sharp Tailed Sparrow that we host exclusively each summer up around James Bay.

Tree Sparrows are split with Canada getting dibs on 1 subspecies.

We just miss with the Red Fox Sparrow because their range touches N. Maine but we can claim one (maybe 2) of the 5 White Throated Sparrow subspecies.

So there's my little bit.

Next! Who wants to do a nice easy one like Raptors? Maybe you feel like tackling Warblers, Waterfowl or Shorebirds?

Wow, Ralph. I think my head just exploded, in a good way (mind blown).

Wow is right! Awesome Ralph! Now we are getting somewhere ha! I linked to your reply in my original post above ... I see the list could be longer. Well I learned more today then I had originally planned.

Wow, Ralph, leave it to you!!

Here's a site that fits this thread but, more importantly, it isn't limited to birds.

Want to know what butterflies or reptiles we host? This is a great place to start.


I notice it shows Ross' Goose as only nesting in Canada but a map I've recently seen indicates a small breeding area in Alaska.

You're right, Joanne. As I mentioned, Wiki and other say Perry River to Banks Island but, according to DU and others there are some that nest in the Sagavanirktok River delta in Alaska.

Sorry, Ralph...I didn't see your previous comment about Ross' Goose.

Except they missed the Maritime Ringlet and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence Aster, both of which occur in New Brunswick.

I suspect, Ron, that they missed other species, as well.

I always assume that no on-line list is ever complete or completely up-to-date. That's why I posted the link as a "place to start".

 "Bugs" and plants are so diverse and complex that it takes a certain level of expertise just to stay abreast of research literature. 

Your two examples further confirm that caution is always needed in regards to on-line information.

I agree Ralph,no doubt a thorough search would reveal many more.  These two examples jumped out because they are from New Brunswick. 


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