A Flock Of Prolific, Pugnacious, And Pesky Pine Siskin

As I mentioned earlier this morning, we are having a nice little winter storm here in New England. The birds who frequent my feeders (just outside my studio window) are in what I call "tanking up mode" as they often are during a storm. They seem to need extra feed to handle the heavy snow and cold. Today, however, these little fellas really started going through the seed! I had close to 75 little finch type birds at my feeders and was on the third re-fill of the day. So, a bit of Internet digging led me to discover something new and interesting. It seems I have a flock of Pine Siskin at my station today.

In this article by Marcia Davis I was able to glean a bit more insight into this pesky but adorable flock:

"....If you do find siskins, take time to study them. It could be several winters before any show up in your yard again......There's no rhyme or reason as to when or where nomadic pine siskins show up. Winter wanderings are an erratic search for seeds - not a true migration to well-defined wintering grounds as exhibited by other species.....There's one siskin behavior you'll probably notice if you have a big crowd of them at your feeder. Pine siskins have bad table manners.

The little siskins act like they're tough stuff. They're feisty and pugnacious. They peck, push and jostle each other in an effort to secure a perch on the tube feeder. It's like everyone's fighting for too few seats at the dinner table."

You can read the whole article here

Not to worry though hubby, these voracious little visitors will likely move on by day break and we will be back to a less dramatic consumption of the pricey seed.

Enjoy the rest of 2008!

1 comment:

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Great article on the pine siskins. I have a horde of finches, chickadees, and cardinals. They give a lot of pleasure and I'm delighted to read of others who care for the birds in winter also. Have a Great New Year!

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