January 10, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Finally: a Pine siskin!

It seems that winter migrant birds are scarcer than usual this season, except for Juncos, which are abundant as ever. But there just aren't many White-throated sparrows where we live, and no Kinglets of either kind, or Yellow-bellied sapsuckers, or Purple finches as of yet. Today, however, one such bird did make its first appearance this winter outside our window: a Pine siskin, who graciously posed for a few photographs. I hope this is a sign that more winter migrants will be here soon.

Pine siskin

Pine siskin, eating thistle (nyjer) seeds outside our window. The yellow feathers in its wing are an indication that it's related to the Goldfinches, which are also fond of thistle seeds.

Pine siskins have been reported in a few localities around Augusta County this winter, but I'm not aware of any previous ones here in Staunton. I saw a dozen or so Pine siskins in South Dakota back in October.

For the first time in a few months, I have updated the Wild Birds USA photo gallery page, as well as the Annual arrival page.