Things are looking up for those of us who look forward to winters when boreal finches come south in relatively large numbers in search of food. This is an irruption year for winter finches in the East due to the poor cone and birch seed production in northern Ontario and Quebec. Seed-eating birds such as finches, grosbeaks, redpolls and siskins will be frequenting our feeders.
Even at this early date, Evening Grosbeak sightings are up noticeably. Pine Grosbeaks will be taking advantage of good Mountain-ash berry and cone production in New England. Purple Finch numbers should also be healthy this winter. While Red Crossbills sightings may be scarce, White-winged Crossbills sightings may well be up due to the poor cone crops in the eastern boreal forest. Both Common and Hoary Redpolls should be numerous this winter due to poor crops of birch, alder and conifer seeds further north.
In addition to these finches, large numbers of Blue Jays, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Bohemian Waxwings are predicted due to poor nut, conifer seed and berry crops, respectively, further north. (Ron Pittaway’s Winter Finch Forecast, 2018-2019, http://jeaniron.ca/2018/wff18.htm ) (Photo: Common Redpoll)
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