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Over 100 bird watchers have visited a property in Green Bay, NS where a gray-crowned rosy finch has been spotted for the first time on record. Photo: @dainjason (Instagram).

Bird Watchers Flock To Lunenburg In Hopes of Sighting Rare Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch

By Evan Taylor Jan 24, 2023 | 1:51 PM

Over the past week over 150 bird watchers have ventured to private property in Green Bay, N.S., in hopes of catching a glimpse of a gray-crowned rosy finch, a bird that has no record of ever being spotted in the province before.

The finches typically live in alpine or tundra environments with their natural habitat ranging from the southern Rockies, through the Canadian prairies, and into Alaska. They also nest higher than any other birds in North America with reports of nests being found as high as 7000 feet above sea level.

That is what makes the recent sighting in Nova Scotia so exciting as it is essentially unheard of, According to AllAboutBirds a website that tracks rare bird sightings, it is the farthest east the species has ever been spotted.

A map showing gray-crowned rosy finch sightings, including its most easterly sighting which took place in Lunenburg Co., NS. Photo: AllAboutBirds

The first sighting in Nova Scotia was reported on January 11 at a private residence near Green Bay, and ever since then bird watchers have been flocking to the area hoping to see the bird in person. Its most recent sighting was on Tuesday.

It was first spotted by property owner Lynette Barnes who has been welcoming bird watchers to her property ever since she first posted a photo of the finch to a bird-watching group online.

Since posting online, bird watchers have been reaching out to Barnes trying to coordinate visits, something she’s happy to oblige, “It’s really just been amazing the number of people interested in this bird, and with something like this we feel people who want to see it should be able to.”

Barnes moved to Nova Scotia just a few years ago and says that her property in Green Bay is home to a wide variety of wildlife so much so that she’s taken to calling her property a mini wildlife reserve.

She is also planning to open a Bed and Breakfast on the property in the near future and plans to call it B3, which means bird, bed and Breakfast.

Jason Dain who does nature photography was one of the many bird watchers who has been to see the finch and explained it wasn’t something he was willing to miss. “I saw the photo eight minutes after it was posted, showed my wife and she knew right away where I was headed,” Dain said. “This bird is essentially half a continent away from where it should be at this time of the year and we don’t know if another will ever make it out here,”.

Bird watchers suspect a series of storms with eastward trajectories is likely what brought the finch to Nova Scotia, and Dain says although it is unlikely it will make it back to its natural habitat it has plenty of food where it is now.

Barnes remains open to visitors coming to her property but asks that people message her on Facebook ahead of time to let her know when they will be coming.






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