Pine Siskin

*Photo Credit: Emily Bailey

Pine Siskins are our bird of the month this month because they are everywhere! These little, fiesty birds are an irruptive species, which means their winter range varies from year to year. In the next few weeks, they will head back to their breeding grounds in Canada!

Pine Siskins are small finches, and they have a tiny bill. They are streaked with brown all over and have yellow edges on their wings and tail. They love small seeds, such as nyjer and sunflower chips. If you look carefully, you may even see them cling to branch tips of pines and other conifers, sometimes hanging upside down to pick at seeds below them. When their natural seed crops (conifers) are in short supply, that is when we will see them this far south.

Pine Siskins are particularly bold, and they can be hand fed fairly easily. If you have many visiting your feeders, you might be able to try your hand (pun intended!) at hand feeding!
Here are some tips if you want to try:
-Go out when the birds are the most active. This is usually the morning and the afternoon.
-Stand close to your feeder(s) with your hand outstretched and full of seed! We recommend sunflower chips.
-Wear a glove.
-Stand as still as you can.

It is a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with these birds! Remember, they won’t be around for long, so enjoy the Pine Siskins while they are here! Chances are we won’t see them for a few years!