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Archive for December 18, 2020

Irruption Year For Pine Siskins

As their name implies, Pine Siskins feed on the seeds of pines and other conifers, including spruce, larch and hemlock.  They also consume the seeds of deciduous trees such as birch and alder. Pine Siskins, along with other northern species of birds, can irrupt southward in years when there is a shortage of food in their home range. 

In part because conifer seed production is poor to fair across most of Canada’s boreal forest, New England, as well as much of North America, is seeing an influx of Pine Siskins this winter.  In fact, it’s one of the biggest irruption years in recorded history for these small finches. As a rule, Pine Siskins migrate only during the day.  However, for only the second time in recorded history, they have been observed migrating in significantly large numbers at night.  Even with COVID-19 keeping you close to home, you’re likely to see a Pine Siskin this year if you keep an eye on conifers, birches and feeders filled with nyjer seed.

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