Pine Siskins are small, brown-striped finches with yellow on their wings.
We just saw a few Pine Siskins in our yard. Remember last year's winter finch invasion? Pine Siskins were numerous by the end of October last year. The above photo was taken on 10/22/10.
Will this be another big year for winter finches?
The answer is no, according to Ron Pittaway, of the Ontario Field Ornithologists, who does the Winter Finch Forecast each year. There are plenty of cones and seeds across the boreal forest and the Northeast and no big need for many of the irruptive finch species to leave their northern areas.
However, Pine Siskins had a good breeding year in the Yukon and those birds may wander widely down into the U.S. in search of food, as the spruce seed crop is just average where they bred.
So be on the look-out for Pine Siskins and other winter finches and let us know what you see.