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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pine Siskins are coming to feeders near you

We have had 50 Pine Siskins here in NH, recently, with standing room only at our bird feeder. This action photo I took captures them from all angles. These are small, heavily streaked little birds with yellow edges on their folded wing feathers and at the base of their primaries. It's exciting to see so many of them here in our yard.

Pine Siskins are a type of finch. They breed in more northern areas of North America and in the western mountains and come down, or "irrupt" in winter to feeders across the country, especially when there is a lack of seeds in their usual range. So some winters you will see lots at your feeders, in other winters you may have none. What will this winter be like? Are these 50 siskins a prelude of things to come?

Siskins love to feed as a flock, so choose feeders with lots of perching room and use hulled sunflower (shown in our feeder), thistle (nyjer) or finch mixes to attract them.


Unknown said...

Yesterday I stood among a field of sunflowers and was surround by hundreds of feeding Pine Siskins, and American and Lesser Goldfinch. It was a really cool experience feeling the wing beats, hearing the tiny shells being cracked in the tiny beaks, and being just feet away from them. Photos will be posted on my blog in the coming week.

Lillian Stokes said...

That sounds like a great "birding is fun" moment!