Feedback: Bird Watchers All Atwitter Over Rare Bird In Lewis County

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For two days, serious bird watchers have been flocking to southern Lewis County.

They're there to see a male Gray-crowned Rosy finch.

The bird is way out of his element.

Native to the western U.S. and Canada, the bird is rarely seen there, let alone here, in the Northeast.

In fact, this is only its second sighting in New York state history.

"East of the Mississippi, there are only a handful of records, but probably fewer than five that have ever been here," said Kevin McGowan, from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
 
The bird might have escaped all the attention if not for the alert eye of Leyden resident Nancy Loomis.

"There was a strange bird on my deck and couldn't figure out what it was. So I took pictures and put it on the Cornell Facebook website and it was identified," said Loomis.

Word spread quickly among the bird watching community.

You know what they say - birds of a feather flock together.

"This was one I had never seen before so I was willing to make the trip up here," said Steve Schellenger, who came to Lewis County from Long Island.

"The color is just right. Everything is perfect," said Dan Watkins of Binghamton, New York.

"It's beautiful.  It's nice," said Mike Ackley of Endwell, New York.

If the bird is still here this weekend, there could be busloads of bird watchers from other states and Canada.

So why did this Gray-crowned Rosy-finch stray so far from home?

"Good question. Why is it here," asked McGowan.

We only know that for now, the bird has found the basic bird necessities in Lewis County.

"That's basically what birds think about most of the time is food, sex and rest," said McGowan.

But there will be no rest from public attention for this bird anytime soon.

By the way, the picture above is courtesy of Corey Finger, a bird watcher who drove from the New York City area to Lewis County to see this rare sight.

Check out Corey's other photos

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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