Pine Siskin: First Look
After changing seed to black sunflower, another species has debuted at the BirdCam station. Here are the first images caught of a Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus) since installing the camera last fall. These finches are said to be year-around residents in our area, but I see them only rarely. They resemble American Goldfinches in winter plumage, except they have a lot of brown streaking the Goldfinch lacks. The name "Carduelis" implies they are also fond of thistle seed (carduus is a thistle). Later this spring, I'll be putting up a thistle feeder to what that will attract.
According to BirdWeb, my yard provides their desired habitat, "semi-open areas, including forest edges and weedy fields." Well, let's hope not too weedy. They nest on horizontal branches of large conifers which I also furnish, so perhaps I'll have a nesting pair or two.
The BirdCam station is currently in a fairly open area of the yard, and near the house. I have ordered a second BirdCam to set up in a more secluded spot with more cover. It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference in the birds attracted. Meanwhile, I hope to catch some better photos of Pine Siskins as well as other birds arriving for spring.