About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Streaky brown finches

As winter approaches, keep your eyes open for Pine Siskins. Most years, siskins do not stray too far from their breeding territories in the northern tier of the United States and across Canada into Alaska unless there is a shortage of food. Pine Siskins eat conifer seeds (such as spruces and pines) and catkins (such as birch and alder) in the North. However this year’s reported shortage of cone crops will push the birds south in search of food.

Siskins are streaky brown finches with a small, sharply pointed bill and faint yellow splashes near the wing tips and tail. They mix in with flocks of goldfinches at Nyjer® (thistle), Seed Cylinder and sunflower feeders. Siskins brighten up a drab winter day with their loud and cheerful "zzziip" song. The word "Siskin" is of Scandinavian origin and means "chirper". You can expect their numbers to increase along their southern range into February and early March as they look for more sources of food.

Related Articles:
- Birdwatching: Look for the Out-of-Towners http://bit.ly/q6Pkco
- Where do you place finch feeders? http://bit.ly/p4XHU4
- How do Birds Migrate? http://bit.ly/nNCI6d
- Most common winter birds in Michigan http://bit.ly/ow20ZD
- What birds migrate from Michigan? http://bit.ly/qa0CVU

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