Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Patriotic Pine Siskin

[Pine Siskin, Del Haven, Cape May County, NJ this afternoon, July 4. The buffy wingbars and wash to the body, limited yellow, and the uniform good condition of the flight feathers indicate that this is a hatch year bird - but it could be one that flew here from several hundred miles away.]

Yesterday evening, July 3, we were getting ready to eat dinner before checking out the North Cape May fireworks (see below), and Michael O'Brien looked out at our bird bath and said, "Hey, Don, did you know you have a Pine Siskin in your yard?"

Well, no, I didn't. The excuse is, I feel like I'm never home to see what goes on here, especially in the aftermath of the recent "Direcho" storm, which had me scrambling at work to take care of employees, people, buildings and trails over the weekend.

The bird disappeared before anyone, including Michael, got a really good look, but after dinner it reappeared, this time at the thistle feeder. A siskin it was, and it continues at the house feeders today, July 4. Does this foretell a big siskin year?

[Pine Siskin, July 3, Del Haven NJ. I often describe siskins as "streaked goldfinches."]

Pine Siskins are generally unexpected in summer in NJ, but there are a few breeding records for the state, which have typically followed winters with siskin incursions. Last winter was not one of these. It's open to conjecture as to why this one showed up, and where it is from.

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