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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pine Siskins are on the move

The Stokes Birding Blog reports today that they have a flock of Pine Siskins in their yard in New Hampshire. Other birders from around the New England area are also reporting the arrival of these energetic little birds. It may be a harbinger of things to come farther south, maybe even in Southeast Texas.

Ron Pittaway's annual Winter Finch Forecast states that there was a widespread tree seed crop failure in both coniferous and deciduous trees in the northeast this year. When this happens, it generally means that the finches and other birds like Red-breasted Nuthatches that depend on these crops will be wandering farther and farther south in search of food, so it is possible that we could be seeing a lot of these little visitors again this year.

In two of the last three years, I did have large numbers of siskins in my winter yard, but last winter, I didn't see a single one. It's always a delight to have these entertaining little guys around, so I'll be hoping to see a lot of scenes like this in the upcoming winter.

Pine Siskin, January 2011


  1. Last year was the first time I've ever seen a Pine Siskin in my yard. I'm still waiting for the American Goldfinches to arrive. Love to see them even though they kinda bully the Lesser Goldfinches around.

    1. I usually don't see American Goldfinches here until December or at least late November and the Pine Siskins, when they get this far south, often don't arrive until late December. Based on what I'm hearing from Northern birders, I do expect to have good numbers of both birds this winter.