Pine Siskins and other Irruptives

Posted on Wednesday 14 January 2009

This winter is proving to be a good one for birders looking for irruptives – those birds that visit our Valley some years, looking for food.  Several Mad Birders and birders all over the east are reporting flocks of Pine Siskins at their feeders.  The Hawk Mountain migration report forecast this irruption when they reported ten times (12,000) previous high count of siskins at their location in the fall.

The Foremans have a leucistic siskin (very pale yellow) that has been coming to the feeder with the flock.  This unusual bird seems to hold its own with the rest of birds and is very interesting to watch. 

Other irruptives visiting this winter included Snow Buntings, Common Redpolls, Bohemian Waxwings, White-winged Crossbills, and Pine Grosbeaks.  Snowy and Northern Hawk Owls are hanging out elsewhere in Vermont.  Let’s hope some visit our Valley.  Keep your eyes open, there’s plenty of winter left.



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