Lincoln's Sparrow
(Melospiza lincolnii)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (flickr.com/photos/jukka_jantunen)
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Lincoln's Sparrow is very abundant and widespread across Canada's boreal forest, with highest densities in the west and northern sub-boreal, boreal and subarctic regions. Results from the Breeding Bird Survey suggest little change in the population relative to about 1970, but covers only a portion of the range. With more than 80% of the global breeding population, Canada's responsibility for this species is very high. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeMediumAt an Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada> 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaVery High

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between mid-May and early June and ends between mid-July and late July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

There appear to be few urgent conservation concerns for this species. As a bird of early succession shrub and bog habitats, it is unlikely that forest management activities will be overly detrimental to the species (Erskine 1992) and, in fact may benefit them. Indeed, numbers are likely now higher than before European settlement due to the opening of forest edges, clear-cutting with subsequent shrubby growth and the return to shrubby growth following farmland abandonment (Ammon 1995).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Ontario -- Stewardship
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Other
 

References