Friday, February 3, 2012

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch roundup: March 6, 2012 update

With reports of multiple Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches showing up north of Lake Superior, I thought I'd keep a running tally for the greater Great Lakes region. Some of the following is cribbed from earlier blog postings. I will update this with new sightings and status changes of known birds.

March 6th update: The 'Interior' GCRF, first report on March 4th at a feeder in Tug Hill, Lewis Co., New York, continues to be seen, providing the second ever record for the species in that state (photos here). Alternatively, this may be the same NY bird that was seen in the Catskills, some 150 km. away on Dec. 22 (ht to Alan Wormington).

This brings to 10 the total for Ontario and neighbouring jurisdictions for the current fall-winter season (MN: 1; MB: 3; ON: 4; NY: 2). Eight of these birds were discovered at feeders. The remaining two were encountered and briefly observed in the field under more natural circumstances.

Winnipeg, MB. Feb 13. Courtesy of Garry Budyk.
Here's the listing, starting with the most recently found Ontario birds:
  • Jan. 24, 2012 - Feb. 23, 2012. Rossport, Thunder Bay District, ON. Seen at two neighbouring feeders operated by Marco Tremblay and Gord Smith.  Now, an irregular visitor at Gord Smith's. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist. Courtesy of Gord Smith.
    Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist. Courtesy of Gord Smith.
    Rossport, Thunder Bay Dist. Jan. 24, 2012. Courtesy of Marco Tremblay.
  • Jan. 10, 2012 - Feb. 9, 2012. Rocky Bay - MacDiarmid, Thunder Bay District, ON. Visiting feeder of Agnes and Harold Michon. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • MacDiarmid, ON. Thunder Bay Dist. Jan. 23, 2012. Courtesy of Greg Stroud.
  • Jan. 4 - Jan. 5. 2012. Geraldton, Thunder Bay District, ON. Visiting feeder of Terry and Alain Saindon. [Hepburn's littoralis or coastal subspecies.]
  • Geraldton, Thunder Bay Dist. Jan. 4, 2012. Courtesy of Terry Saindon.
  • Nov. 22 - Nov 26, 2011. Lappe/Stepstone, Thunder Bay District, ON. Visiting feeder of  Gene Kideres and Barbara Horth. More photos and description here. [Hepburn's littoralis or coastal subspecies.]
  • Lappe. Thunder Bay Dist. Nov. 24, 2011. Courtesy of James Barber.

From neighbouring regions:
  • March 4 - March 8, 2012. New York's second of the winter was photographed at a feeder in Tug Hill, Lewis Co., New York. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • Feb. 19 - March 6, 2012. Manitoba's third GCRF was first spotted in the company of Evening Grosbeaks by Wybo Vanderschuit about 5 km north of Erickson, MB. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • Jan. 29 - Feb. 17, 2012. Manitoba's second GCRF of the winter is visiting a feeder in Charleswood (Winnipeg). Again, Christian Artuso obtained and shared on his blog some excellent additional photos, taken Feb. 8. [Hepburn's littoralis or coastal subspecies.]
  • Winnipeg, MB. Feb. 4, 2012. Courtesy of Katharine Schulz.
  • Jan. 1(?) - Feb. 1, 2012. Manitoba's first GCRF of the season had been attending a feeder in December but wasn't positively identified until Jan 1. As of Feb. 1 the bird was continuing to be a daily visitor, much to the pleasure of many Manitoba birders. Christian Artuso has posted some excellent photos (taken Jan. 15) on his blog. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • Kenton, MB, Jan. 2012. Courtesy of Carole and Murray Sangster.
  • Dec. 22, 2011. High up in the Catskills, a hiker photographed a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. This represents the first documented record for New York State. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • Oct. 27, 2011. Bear Island Lake, St. Louis Co., MN (about 150 km west of Thunder Bay, ON). Seen briefly on a beach in the company of Snow Buntings by Deb Falkowski. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
  • St. Louis Co., MN. Oct. 27, 2011. Courtesy of Deb Falkowski.

  • And while we're talking about recent records of the species, it's worth noting that on March 16, 2011, a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch stunned itself against a window in Nobel, Parry Sound District, Ontario. Fortunately Edie Outram-Verite took a photo before the bird recovered and flew away. It wasn't seen again. This will be the 16th documented occurrence for the province and one of very few sightings outside of NW Ontario. [Nominate tephrocotis or interior subspecies.]
Nobel, Parry Sound Dist. March 16, 2011. Courtesy of Edie Outram-Verite.

More about identifiable GCRF subspecies, from an earlier posting.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to the following people who shared their photos or reports: James Barber, Garry Budyk, Deb Falkowski, Agnes and Harold Michon, Edie Outram-Verite, Brian Ratcliff, Terry and Alain Saindon, Carole and Murray Sangster, Katharine Schulz, Gord Smith, Greg Stroud and Marco Tremblay.


  1. Your Photos, experiments and all the shares are useful for naturalists.

  2. Michael,

    The two New York locations are only about 100 miles apart. I hate matching up sightings of passerines, but obviously the same bird might be involved in both sightings. It might be interesting to compare photos from both locations.

    P.S. The only good Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is one at Point Pelee ... we need one bad!

  3. I just compared photos from the two New York locations, and there definitely is no obvious differences between the two. But is it the same bird? Maybe best left to the New York people to spend more time on this question.