By Eugenia Jones
Local wildlife expert, James Kiser of Whitley City, had an unexpected and unusual visitor during last week’s winter ice storm. Kiser, who recognizes the importance of feeding wild birds because of their need for seed during extended ice and snow events, spotted a Gray-headed, Dark-eyed Junco at his feeding station alongside birds more common to McCreary County. According to Kiser’s birding friends and eBird, this is the first time the bird has been recorded in Kentucky and possibly in the Southeastern United States. Maps in eBird show the nearest sites as Little Rock, Arkansas and near Columbus, Ohio. The species normally spends its winters in the southern Rocky Mountains. Only a few records exist for this bird east of the Mississippi River. The Gray-headed, Dark-eyed Junco stayed at Kiser’s feeding station for three days. More information can be found at the following links: Information can be found at the following links: https://ebird.org/checklist/S82168530 and https://ebird.org/species/gyhjun.