Last Sunday Jeff noticed that the fish were swirling around a lot at the surface of our pond and decided it was a good time to go fishing. He was right because he ending up catching 11 fish within a 15 minute period. One of them was a pretty good size, a six pounder! Nice catch indeed!
Winter Birds Are Starting To Arrive!
While he was out there casting in a line he happened to notice a raucous at the platform feeder. Low and behold he saw Pine Siskins everywhere. He counted 30 or more in and around the feeder. A great photo opportunity! The only one that is not a Pine Siskin is the one facing the camera on the right next to the pole.
What is a Pine Siskin?
The Pine Siskin is found in North American and is in the finch family. It is very similar to a Goldfinch however the Goldfinch is slightly larger and does not have the signature bold streaking on the breast and back. They breed in the most northern parts of North America mostly in coniferous and mixed woods. They migrate in big flocks more southward throughout the United States. Some years you may see more than others. I think this year may be an invasion year as someone in a neighboring city also reported quite a few in their backyard too. That was not the case last year.
Other Winter Birds That Have Arrived
So far my husband and I have also seen the Dark-eyed Junco, the Golden-crowned Kinglet, and the White-throated Sparrow in our yard. These birds are always a delight to have at the feeders and hanging around our yard.
The Junco is sometimes called the Snow Bird because it likes to scratch in the snow under bird feeders to find seed. When I see these birds in my yard I know its winter. They will be residents for the duration.
The Golden-crowned Kinglet is a very tiny songbird and can be hard to find. You may be able to hear their high pitched call notes which is how we detected it in our tree. They are not a constant in our yard during the winter as they like pines mostly but you will also find them in deciduous trees and shrubs too mostly in a wooded setting.
The White-throated Sparrow is another bird that has been here for a few weeks now. I don’t necessarily see them when they first arrive all I have to do is hear their high pitched clear whistle which is a sound I just love to hear on a cold day when I am walking on a hike. So far I have yet to locate the bird in my yard but he is definitely there.
There are more winter birds that we may get to see in our backyard this winter especially if we have extreme cold temperatures and lots of snow. We haven’t had that in a few years so we are hoping this may be the year. If that is the case we may also get Red-breasted Nuthatches, Purple Finches, and Fox Sparrows dropping by to get food that has become more scarce. That is the beauty of hard winters. You tend to see a lot more species around scrounging for food which is to our delight!
Have you seen any winter birds in your backyard yet? I would love to know what they are please feel free to comment below.