Sunday, February 8, 2009


This will be a simple post based upon the influx of pine siskins this winter in many southerly regions. It is my observation that the abundance of these siskins is large, and my speculation is that they had a good breeding season in 2008, possibly over populating their winter food resources.

This is the first winter I have had to compare the various plumage of siskins, and the variety, though subtle, is quite beautiful. It has recently been brought to my attention that at least two waves have hit us, the first being lower latitudinal breeders, whose behavior indicates a familiarity with and fear of humans, and the second made up of innocents whose 'tameness' is indicated by no fear at all. What's up with that word tame anyway? I experimented with both flocks, and can verify that the second group were not at all shy of me.

Hence, this photo.

2 comments:

Clyde Kessler said...

There was a siskin horde at my parents' home this morning (Ferrum VA). About seventy birds at one time, and probably more in the area waiting there turn at the feeder and the long sheet of roofing tin covering the stack of wood --- where my folks put sunflower seeds. Thanks Scott. This has definitely been the winter of the siskin in this part of the world.

Ray said...

I have seen pine siskins off and on in Ephrata, PA since December. Some of them were picking at a brick wall near my office in New Holland, PA. Looking for grit I guess.