Pooecetes gramineus affinis
The coastal vesper sparrow is considered “critically imperiled” in BC, with only one known nesting site located at the Nanaimo airport. It is a small (6” long) brown or greyish songbird. This subspecies breeds on southeastern Vancouver Island, south through Washington and Oregon to northern California. In BC, they are at the northern limit of their range. Although never common in BC, they were once much more widespread on Vancouver Island.
Vesper sparrows nest on the ground in open grassy areas such as Garry oak meadows
. These ecosystems have been destroyed and heavily altered by agriculture, urban development, invasive species
and fire suppression. Vesper sparrows eat insects and seeds. This sparrow faces a number of threats: nests may be destroyed by trampling or by mowing; eggs and nestlings may be eaten by raccoons, rats, squirrels, or domestic dogs and cats; and adults may be preyed upon by raptors and other predators.