Monday, January 21, 2013

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

As I drove the county roads around Enterprise and Joseph, Oregon in Wallowa County, I was struck by how few birds I was encountering. While I tried to avoid the fantasy of birds dripping from the trees, I expected it to be much more birdie.
By the second day, I was resolved to be patient and hopefully the birds would show themselves. That was the case with a flock of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches. 
I was driving back to the main route along Crow Creek Road when I saw a large flock of sparrow-like birds along the hillside off to one side. They would dart around, sharply changing directions several times, then suddenly drop down, disappearing into the tall grass, only to reemerge a short time later.
They didn't seem interested in coming further down the hillside to give me a closer look, so I started taking pictures, hoping that I would get clear enough images to identify them.  It wasn't long before I was able to zoom in on some images on my camera's LCD display and realized that they were Rosy-Finches.
This behavior continued for quite awhile until the flock turned towards me, flying right over my car only to reverse course as a few started landing along the road on the opposite side.  Unfortunately, I had my window rolled up on that side to help keep warm (it was probably in the teens at that time). As I rolled the window down hoping to get better pictures, the flock flushed and flew off up the road. I wasn't able to refind them.
For much closer images of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, follow this link on my first sighting of this species.  

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