6 of us, Mark K, Chris W, Ryan S, Brin, Derek S and myself made the long trip up this morning leaving Waukesha at 1:00 am with hopes to see the rare bird, the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. We arrived at the private residence well before 7:00 am. We set ourselves up a distance from the front feeders about 7:00 am waiting for our guest bird to show with bins and cameras in hand. At 7:20 the first bird to arrive at the feeders was the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. The bird ate plenty of sunflower seeds near the feeder before perching in a near by spruce tree. The bird remained in the spruce with nice views for the next 40 minutes. It then returned for more seeds and then again perched in the spruce nearby. The timing to see this bird could not have worked out better and the bird could not have been more photogenic. What makes this bird so very special is it is a western US bird that’s normal range is Colorado and west and into parts of Alaska and south to Arizona. This sighting is the 3rd state record for Wisconsin. What a beautiful bird and a life bird to boot for all of us!! What a fantastic day birding with great birders and friends. Also had the chance to meet up with a couple of great birders we have not seen for awhile. Early morning temperature was 38 degrees and cloudy. Also present Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Siskins. After that we took the 1.4 hour trek over to Superior and a try for the Gyrfalcon came up empty. The Common Eider was present at Barkers Island in it’s usual place with mallards. Many thanks to Ryan B for getting the information out on this rare birds location and thanks to the homeowners who shared it with others. Images were taken on March 15, 2015. Note: March 15, 2015 was the last day this bird was seen.
Binomial name: Leucosticte tephrocotis
Category: Fringilline and Cardueline Finches and Allies
Size: 6.25” long, 13” wing span
Weight: 0.91 oz
Gorgeous photos, Jim! Thanks so much for sharing. We thought about trying for the rosy-finch today, too, but instead drove to Crex Meadows where we had a nice day. We added trumpeter swan, robin, Canada goose, snow bunting, kestrel, and sandhill crane to our annual list.
Excellent series, Jim. Glad it made an appearance for you folks.
WOW! Thanks for sharing your crystal clear pictures of this most unusual bird. I feel like I was there too but not able to add to my life list at this time. Thanks so much for always sharing your finds. We, on the other hand cleaned out and put fresh wood chips in the Kestrel nesting boxes. That was fun too.
Wonderful shots Jim of a species that I too would love to see!!
What an all night drive. Thanks for bringing these birds to those now too old to handle such expeditions. Very cool bird.
What a cool bird! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful photos and the story too.
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