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Golden-crowned Sparrow and Orange-crowned Warbler – Chesapeake Farms, MD

Alex Lamoreaux|

After chasing (and finding!) the Northern Wheatear this morning, Klye Aldinger, Ian Gardner, and I drove about an hour farther south to try and find the Golden-crowned Sparrow. This is a west coast species that is very rarely seen in the East. I was really doubting we would see it. It seemed like it wasnt very reliable and all birders HAD to stay in their cars to try and find the bird. When we pulled up to Chesapeake Farms, we had to drive down the driveway, which was lined with huge shrubs for about a fifth of a mile. The bushes were alive with sparrow; White-throated and White-crowned primarily. The little hope I did have for finding this rare sparrow was now all gone. How could we ever find the drabbest sparrow among all of these hundreds of sparrows? Well it only ended up taking about 5 minutes. The Golden-crowned Sparrow hopped out of the bushes and landed in the grass alongside the road. We got great looks at this bird, which was also a lifer for me! A few minutes later, Ian spotted a warbler at the top of a bush near the Golde-crowned Sparrow. It was an Orange-crowned Warbler! This is a very rare warbler for the Eastern US, especially this late in the year. The warbler flew in closer to us and with a little bit of pishing, the warbler came right in for nice, close-up photos. Below are some photos I took this morning.

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Orange-crowned Warbler

Snow Geese in a field nearby (there were about 4500 total in one particular field)

About the Author

Alex Lamoreaux

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Alex Lamoreaux has been an avid birder and naturalist since he was a youngster, growing up exploring the farmland and Appalachian ridges near Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University, studying wildlife biology. Alex has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa and is a freelance nature tour guide, field biologist, and wildlife photographer. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects ranging from Whimbrel migration along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoo nesting in the desert southwest. He has been the migration counter at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory for the past two fall seasons, documenting the massive visible migration of raptors and songbirds along Lake Superior. Alex loves to share his knowledge of nature, and strives to bring the birding community together to share in the fun that studying birds and wildlife has to offer. He has helped to organize and coordinate birding events in his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. Contact Info Alex Lamoreaux aslamoreaux@gmail.com (717) 943-7086