The Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) is another irruptive bird species like the Red-breasted Nuthatch which is still hanging around my house. I am getting these finches at my feeders and at the water feature now. Could this be another Pine Siskin irruption year like the 2008 – 2009 winter?
Pine Siskins are distributed across much of Canada and at higher elevations in the western portions of the United States. Periodically, they will irrupt into parts of the East and into areas of lower elevations in the West1.
It is hypothesized that these irruptions occur due to variations in the bird’s food supply on their wintering grounds. When Pine Siskins irrupt into the southern ranges of the map above, food abundance in their typical wintering grounds may be low. You can read a very interesting report on the “Biennial Irruptions of Pine Siskins Across North America” at the Audubon website. They mapped their information form Project FeederWatch and the Christmas Bird Count data.
Time will tell if we have another irruption on the horizon but for now, let’s just watch the bathing beauties. Click on photos for full sized images.
Let’s see if I can get some of that water in those axillars
Like water off a duck’s back
What are you looking at?
Don’t I look pretty now?
Hey, what about me? Is it my turn yet?
For more bird fun and great bird photos, check out The Bird D’pot and Wild Bird Wednesday!
References: 1Audubon’s Biennial Irruptions of Pine Siskins Across North America