Tuesday, March 17, 2009
New Bird-Pine Siskin
These little birds have shown up at our house this winter perhaps within the last month. They could have been here before and I just didn't catch it. They look very much like a female house finch or you could possibly mistake it for a female goldfinch. That's who they seem to be hanging out with-the Goldfinches. They are after the thistle seed. If you do a Google search, you will find that people from all over are having an irruption of these birds. I'm glad that I don't have numbers up into the hundreds like some. I couldn't afford to feed that many! Thistle seed is pricey!!!
What got my attention were the yellow bars on its wings. One day I was watching my feeders through the window and noticed them while it was fluttering. Boy, that bird book came open so fast!
Some minor differences I've noticed and things I look for when I'm trying to figure out who is who:
*The beak is pointier-sharper looking.
*This bird is aggressive-it goes after any other birds looking for its spot. A serious 'don't mess with me' demeanor.
*It is streaked like the house finch but instead of white hints in its wings, there are yellow hints.
*I believe it is a little smaller than the house finch.
*When it flies you may see the bright yellow bars (or patch section). I need to investigate that more because it seems as if the female may not have the bright yellow patches that I saw on the male.
My observations of these birds have come on rainy days so that may affect how they appear to me. I hope to view them when the sun is shining to get a better idea of how they compare to the other finches. Oh! and I guess you could say it might resemble a song sparrow too. That may help you get an idea of what I've seen. The picture above shows the yellow very well, but you may not be able to see it as easily when it's hanging partially upside down on a feeder.
I've got my new camera! Hopefully, I'll be able to get some bird photos of my own now. I'm not sure how that's going to work without scaring them away but I'll give it a go.