Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Siskins At The Feeder! Are Redpolls Next?

A couple of weeks ago I caught a glimpse of 2 birds at my thistle feeder that I thought might have been Pine Siskins but they flew off before I could get a better look at them. On Sunday, 2 siskins returned to my feeder but this time they brought some of their buddies with them.Before I knew it, the thistle feeder was loaded with them. Pine Siskins are small finches that are brownish in color and heavily streaked. They have a bit of yellow on their wings and pointy little bills that are perfect for extracting Nyjer seed from a feeder like this. They emptied my feeder quicker than the goldfinches do .
This House Sparrow seemed to have that "What the heck did I do?" look before being chased off by is smaller competitor.
During certain winters I've also enjoyed seeing both White-winged and Red Crossbills in Connecticut but my favorite winter finch sightings was seeing a large flock of Pine Grosbeaks (above photo) in the town of Norfolk a couple of years ago. Dozens of them settled into a crabapple tree and systematically proceeded to extract the seeds from the crabapples. The birds were so colorful and robust looking. I stayed and watched them for almost an hour before they finally flew off to another area.
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According to Ron Pittaway's Winter Finch Forecast for 2010-2011 Common Redpolls should irrupt into the northern United States this winter. I've only seen redpolls once before at Selden Park in Lyme. I'd love to look out my window on a cold winter day and see my feeder covered with them!

14 comments:

dAwN said...

Cool! We just got Siskins the other day.
Happy Birding.

Birding is Fun! said...

Nice photos! I've yet to see a Pine Grosbeak and a Redpoll. We had many White-winged Crossbills along with the usualy Reds a couple years ago at a cemetery here in Idaho.

Hilke Breder said...

I have yet to see a pine siskin at my feeder. I remember a couple of years ago, my feeder was overrun by these pugnacious birds. Nice pics.

Chris said...

Wow i did not know about the pine grosbeak and it's a wonderful species. We got common crossbills over here from Europe and they are starting to breed in Iceland now...

Larry said...

dawn-Reports show they are showing up all over Connecticut.

Birding is Fun-Thanks-Some recent photos you took of hawks on your blog were unbelievable!

Hilke-They are fun to have as visitors but if they came every day and wiped the seed out of my feeders I might grow tired of them.I do enjoy seeing them out in the woods going after catkins and other seeds.

Chris-thanks-yes the Pine Grosbeaks are a nice species.

Andy Wilson said...

I hope they come by my way.

Ruth said...

We have Siskins here already too. We had a pile of Redpolls the winter of 2008-09 but not one last year. I am hoping to see an Evening Grosbeak this winter.

Larry said...

Andy-I reckon they will eventually.

Ruth-Hmm-I would have thought you'd get redpolls every year-guess not.-Good luck on the Evening Grosbeaks-I haven't seen many of those.

Chris said...

Hey just to tell you that if you want redpolls, i will send you hundred for a pine grosbeak ;-) They are all over the city over here now!!

Chris Petrak said...

I sure hope the redpolls are next; I've missed them the last couple of years. And just to be greedy, wouldn't it be great to have an irruption of pine grosbeaks this year. They would warm up some cold winter days.

Larry said...

Chris-I'd be glad to do that if we can get any Pine Grosbeaks-but only one.

Chris-I'd like to get another good look at them.Once was not enough.

Lana Gramlich said...

You've made me wonder if I'm going to see siskins here this Winter. I'm going to have to keep an eye out now for sure...

Kathiesbirds said...

I have yet to see siskins or red polls here but I did see 5 golden-crowned kinglets at the bog yesterday! I would love to see white-winged or red crossbills and a pine grosbeak would be nice too!

Larry said...

Lana-Looking at an e-bird map it seems to be possible.

Kathiebirds-I'm sure you'll see siskins-We'll have to see what the redpolls are up to this year.You might have to drive a little further north to get the others.