Birdwatching Dot Com
Thanksgiving Special Edition Birdwatching Dot Com
November 20, 2007

Dear Diane,

Migration is about over. Warblers and hummingbirds are long gone. But a different cast of birds is taking the stage. Lately I've been seeing pine siskins. The pine siskin at right perched outside our living room window and visited our bird feeders.

Pine siskins are northern birds that sometimes come south for the winter. I see them here in Iowa about one year in five. They wander unpredictably in winter and can turn up anywhere in North America. A pine siskin you see in your yard this winter may have spent the summer in Canada or Alaska.

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In a flock of American goldfinches, you see a couple of birds that are the same size as the goldfinches, but they look slightly different.

Through your binoculars, you see they have brown stripes. You notice the sharply forked tails, the pointed little beaks, and a trace of yellow on the wing.

It all adds up to pine siskins.

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