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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pine Siskin Invasion is Starting!!

Pine Siskins at our feeders

Update, just took this photo today, there are 50 plus siskins in our yard.

Pine Siskins have started invading New England. We had a flock of 25 at our feeders yesterday and we are getting reports from other birders in New Hampshire of Pine Siskin flocks at their feeders..
According to the Winter Finch Forecast given each year by Ron Pittaway of the Ontario Field Ornithologists, there is a "widespread tree seed crop failure in the Northeast...Both coniferous and hardwood tree seed crops are generally poor from northeastern Ontario extending eastward across Quebec to Newfoundland south through the Maritime Provinces, New York and New England states" and each irruptive bird species will deal with it differently.
Thus, Pine Siskins in the Northeast could move south this fall and winter due to poor cone crops. They may show up in numbers at bird feeders.

Green-morph Pine Siskin is very rare. A small percentage of male siskins (maybe only 1%) can show and abnormal amount of yellow in their plumage and appear greenish on their back. They are called "green-morph" Pine Siskins. We had one show up at our feeders in 2009.

Here is another photo of the green-morph. So look closely at the siskin flocks at your feeders, to see if you have one.

This could be a big year for irruptive winter finches in the Northeast and beyond.  We have also has a flock of Evening Grosbeaks visit our feeders yesterday and we have many Purple Finches at our feeders too. Keep your feeders stocked, as finches like lots of perching room, keep an eye out to see who shows up, and let us know.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Good news. I love to have the Siskins around in winter. I have been seeing several
of them at my feeders recently,here in Manitoba.

Linda said...

I can't wait! I love watching them at the feeders.

Josh said...

I live in central MA and have noticed the same exact thing! A flock of about 30 siskins are overwhelming my bird feeders the past few days.......I wonder if it is a sign for the upcoming winter...

Backyard Bird Paradise said...

We had huge flocks of Siskins around our feeders as well here in Michigan the past week. They really love eating sunflower seeds. To see the seeds we offer visit: Great photos of them all on your feeders at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Great news. I saw a red-breasted nuthatch at my feeder this week. Had never had one before. Now I know why.

Central Mass

Karen Guise said...

I had a green-morph siskin here in Delaware on Oct 19. I thought it looked more like a goldfinch/siskin hybrid due to its odd head coloration.