by Brent Eades
The Pine Siskin is a small, streaked finch that you may or may not see in your yard in a given year. As the Cornell University ornithology site says of them:
Flocks of tiny Pine Siskins may monopolize your thistle feeder one winter and be absent the next. This nomadic finch ranges widely and erratically across the continent each winter in response to seed crops.
They’re certainly not absent this year. Folks on the Lanark Bird Spot Facebook group have commented on the large numbers of Pine Siskins in and around town lately. (Given the mobs of a hundred or more descending on my feeders this week I thought they were all in my yard, but apparently not.)
They’re also fairly scrappy little birds, at least when they’re competing for the same food supplies. Here are a few photos.