The Morning Siskins

“Thistle seed has become too expensive,” I told my husband. “Let’s just put out the black-oil sunflower seed for the birds this winter.” We purchased three 25-lb bags and have kept the feeders full. I sprinkle generous portions on the ground under the deck too, where there is no snow, so the ground-feeding birds have something to scratch for. The heated bird bath is plugged in and scrubbed clean every few days. But the thistle seed was just too much money.
Until I heard the Pine Siskins were in town.
Pine Siskins are small, dark, heavily streaked finches between 4 and 5 inches long, with deeply notched tails and pointed bills. You could almost mistake them for just another LBJ (Little Brown Job) but in the right light and just the right angle, you can see a touch of sulphurous yellow in their wings and at the base of their tails. Like the White-winged Crossbills, they have shown up in NJ because of a failed cone crop in their northern home territory and are searching for their favorite food: thistle seed. And for the cost of going out to dinner, I can keep these guys in food for a couple of weeks….

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This entry was posted in Pine Siskins, sunflower seeds, thistle seed. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Morning Siskins

  1. You’re really a very nice person to give them their special feed. They look so tiny, I would think it is too cold in the winter for such small delicate looking birds to survive the freezing temps. But I guess with friends like you they can be sure of getting food for fuel. Don’t be surprised if lots more show up once the word is out where to get the good stuff.

  2. Sparverius says:

    Pine Siskins are so delicate, and cute. I love having them at my feeders as well.

  3. Bargeview says:

    Great photos – it seems like a lot of people are becoming acquainted with these guys this winter.Great blog.Michael

  4. Louise says:

    I’d say worth the cost!

  5. Beautiful photos – let’s see the heated bird bath! I’m going to tell all my feathered migrating friends to skip the long hard trip to Florida and stay in your yard.

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