Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pine Siskins (Amended)

As I woke from a lazy Sunday nap, Dave announced that we had pine siskins at the "sock" feeder. This is the first new bird in quite a while for my 2010 bird list (see tab at the top of the page). I may have seen them once or twice in prior years, but we have not had them at our feeders before. They are small, heavily streaked finches with yellow on the wings. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology calls them the most common of the irruptive "winter finches" that much of the U.S., including southern Minnesota, sees only in winter, but in much larger numbers some years than others.

Above, four pine siskins enjoying thistle seed. Below, a close-up of the yellow wings.

The bird is paler underneath than above, but noticeable streaky both above and below.

Addendum: Bird photographer John Briggs ("Birding in Maine" blog) recently reported a flock of more than 100 pine siskins in his yard and has video of them feeding from his wife's hands. Check it out here!


Sue at EcoStrides said...

Great photos! I've never seen a pine siskin, but now I know what they look like. Thanks!

Mary S. said...

We see these quite a bit at our neighbors' feeder -- but not so close. Great photos, especially the first one.