December 6, 2009

Harris's Sparrow!!!

For the past five days, our feeders have been graced by the appearance of a first-winter Harris’s Sparrow.  Arriving with the snow storm of December 2nd, it has stayed for nearly a week, resting and tanking up on food.  According to Colorado Birds (Andrews & Righter, 1992), the Harris's Sparrow is a very rare visitor to the mountains and foothills with only 22+ records (as of 1992).  We don't know how many records there are by now.  These birds commonly winter on the eastern plains, so this young bird presumably got blown west by the storm.

We're wondering how long this bird will stay, as another storm came in last night.  He had a chance to leave a couple of days ago, but it obviously wasn't ready to go.

Harris's Sparrow - by Marcel Such

Harris's Sparrow - by Joel Such

Harris's Sparrow - by Joel Such

Harris's Sparrow - by Joel Such

Cassin's Finch - by Joel Such

List of birds that were seen in the past five days at our feeders:

Cooper's Hawk - 1 individual swept through the feeders today hoping for a songbird snack 
Downy Woodpecker - A pair of locals that are present every day
Hairy Woodpecker - A local family (1 male, 1 female, 1 immature male) present every day
Red-shafted Flicker - A male and a female seen pretty regularly 
Steller's Jay - ~8 seen all the time
Western Scrub-Jay - 1 individual that has taken up residence the past several months
Black-billed Magpie - 3-4 individuals seen regularly
Black-capped Chickadee - one pair seen regularly
Mountain Chickadee - one pair seen regularly
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1 male seen off and on 
White-breasted Nuthatch - 1 individual seen regularly
American Robin - 1-3 individuals seen fairly regularly
Harris's Sparrow - life bird/yard bird/great bird!
Dark-eyed Junco - lots of these daily (five sub-species)
Oregon Junco
Gray-headed Junco
Pink-sided Junco
Slate-colored Junco
White-winged Junco
Cassin's Finch - one male came in with the storm and stayed 3 days
House Finch - a few pairs seen regularly (one is a variant male with a golden head)
Pine Siskin - one came in with the storm and stayed 3 days
American Goldfinch - a flock of ~dozen seen regularly

1 comment:

Ali Iyoob said...

Glad you posted! Great bird, and nice photos.