There are roughly 800 known bird species from Canada and the United States. Out of those species, a special feathery friend migrated to our next of the woods and made history. The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis) has been sighted here in the Adirondacks within the past couple of weeks. This will be its second sighting in the State of New York.
This species is usually found wintering in Washington State and breeds in remote areas such as Alaska and Canadian Rockies. This Finch is medium to large in size, long wings and tail, gray head with a black forecrown and a dark brown body with a rose colored wash. Its pale colored flight feathers appear below and this “frosted” appearance of the underwings helps identify the Rosy-Finch as it flies about mountain cliffs.
Observing any bird species in and/or out of the Park is an art form within itself. Timely observation, early mornings and patience provides many rewards. There are some 118 known bird species that breed in the Park. Therefore, to see a distant traveler migrate to our next of woods, for reasons that are beyond my present knowledge, gives this bird nerd an added alertness to her early birding.
So as winter gives way to spring, dust off your binoculars and bird guides to join the many in the absorbing hobby of bird watching.