This is a bird restricted to the west coast, you find them no further inland than California, Oregon, and Washington, in the lower 48. So to see one on the East Coast is pretty exciting. There was one last winter just a bit upstate, in the cold of winter. I wanted to see it, but the drive was far and likely in snowy conditions. I passed. This bird, on the other hand, had to be seen.
Mom and I wanted 2 hours before it showed up. The sky began to drizzle, but finally a troupe of white-throated sparrows moved in and with it came this Golden-crowned sparrow. In the conditions I also learned some more about my camera, specifically about how when you lower the ISO you get a lot of "noise." Well, heck, these pictures are god awful, but I'm proud of my mom for actually getting eyes on this bird and experiencing the magic that is birds. This little bird brought so much delight to observers seeing it for the first time ever, or even just the first time that day, confirming it still present in the area.
Let's be real, the average sparrow to the non-birder is a little brown bird, nothing more, nothing less. But mom was able to see Fox, white-throated, and this Golden-crowned sparrow all at the same time and see the differences between them all. I told her there are a number of folks who would be quite envious of you for seeing this bird.
I'm glad we got to see it together, she was excited that she saw 5 species of bird that day, the three sparrows, a Carolina Wren that she pointed out, and a northern cardinal. For me, this bird was life bird #374 and year bird #267. I am very content that I have already surpassed last year's year list by 10 species.
I am trying to enjoy birding to the fullest at this point as my life is soon going to take a hell of a turn come May. So I am looking forward to some awesome birding trips this winter and cultivating a future mini birder in the warmer months of 2020.