Pine SiskinJanuary 2009

Winter 2008-2009 has been the season of the pine siskin at State College. Some birders have reported seeing pine siskins by the hundreds at their feeders (wiping out supplies of thistle and sunflower hearts).

Generally, pine siskins are not particularly common here - with the exception of this winter. Thus far I've been having an average of two to four siskins at my thistle sock. (They probably appreciate that I'm on a modest budget while freelancing is slow.)

Pipe siskins are small finches, about the size of a goldfinch, as shown below.

Goldfinch and pine siskin
  Pipe siskins are heavily streaked and have yellow wingbars plus a few yellow highlights on the tail. The yellow can be seen somewhat in the next photo.
Pine siskin
  A motion blur of a pine siskin in flight really demonstrates the yellows.
Pine siskin fight
Yes, the above is a pine siskin fight. I don't know how people manage with a hundred pine siskins at a feeder; two are enough to start a war.

Photo note: I used a Pentax *K200D, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens for the first two photos and with the SMC 400-600mm reflex lens for the third photo.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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