Date: 3/10/17 11:21 am
From: David Seibel <dseibelphoto...>
Subject: Golden-crowned Sparrow continues in Ellsworth County, 9 March
I was very late to the party, but yesterday I finally made the pilgrimage
to Ellsworth County with Galen Pittman, who had kindly been sending me text
messages for the past month and a half every time someone else saw the
Golden-crowned Sparrow first discovered by Kevin Groeneweg on 7 January.
These messages were gentle reminders that the bird, which would be a new
addition (#411) to my Kansas life list, had been ridiculously cooperative
week after week for dozens of birders, staying almost exclusively in a
single brush pile just a few feet from the road and routinely popping into
view within minutes or seconds.

We arrived shortly after noon and promptly found most of the species that
had been previously reported in the brush pile... except for the
Golden-crowned. An hour later, we had seen those same species quite a
number of times, but still no sign of our target bird. Finally, just as we
were contemplating formulating a Plan B, the bird apparently awoke from its
midday nap and started to forage at the south edge of the brush pile,
mostly scratching like a thrasher on the straw-covered ground but
occasionally sallying upward as if after an insect. I got a few photos to
add to the burgeoning documentation of this very attractive 1st winter
bird, which I've posted on BirdsInFocus (short link: and
with my eBird checklist (
In my archives I also have some nice shots of the bird foraging among fresh
cow pies... and in my archives is probably where they will stay.

It was a great day to be out. We also found a Mountain Bluebird,
Red-breasted Nuthatches, Cedar Waxwings, and an Eastern Screech-Owl at
Wilson Lake in Russell County and a Rough-legged Hawk nearby in Lincoln
County. Our complete lists are on eBird.

-David Seibel
Overland Park

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