Formerly found throughout southern Manitoba as far east as Winnipeg and north to Swan River, the original "Birds of Manitoba" by Ernest E. Thompson (Seton) in 1891 referred to it as "one of the commonest birds… of the prairies westward of Pembina Mountain to Moose River". Today, the Baird's sparrow is restricted to widely scattered chunks of suitable habitat in the extreme southwestern corner of the province.
Like a number of species that rely on prairie grasslands, it has been adversely affected by continued loss and degradation of native grasslands. Although ongoing population declines and reductions of its small overall nesting range resulted in the Baird's sparrow being designated as a threatened species in Canada in 1989, a report showing larger-than-expected populations in Saskatchewan during 1994 resulted in the species being removed from Canada's endangered species list. Nevertheless, its future status in Manitoba is uncertain and Manitoba Conservation has continued to monitor its populations, plus those of other declining endemic grassland birds, and the health of Manitoba prairies in general. Currently considered Endangered under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act, the Baird's sparrow is in danger of becoming extirpated in this province.
For more information on the Baird's sparrow view the Manitoba's Species at Risk brochure (PDF document, 223 KB).