Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pine Siskins and Snow - First of the Season

We had a wonderful turnout at the feeders today, after it sleeted and snowed much of the day yesterday -- the first snow that has "stuck" here in south-central Minnesota this season. During the lunch rush, I noticed some familiar figures I hadn't seen since May: three pine siskins. Last year we first noticed them on December 5.

Pine siskin (above) and white-breasted nuthatch

Similar in size and body style to an American goldfinch (and listed next to it in the various field guides), the pine siskin has a heavily streaked underside, a sharp, narrow beak, a notched tail, and a yellowish tinge to its wings.

Two pine siskins

The photos above and below, caught while I was using my camera's rapid-burst mode, crack me up -- it appears that this little guy does not need to use his or her wings to fly.

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