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May 6, 2012

Pine Siskin colour variable

Photos by BarrytheBirder

The Pine Siskins at my feeders have been around for about 3-4 weeks now and I am getting to the point where I will hate to see them leave.   There's nothing gaudy about these charming little birds.   My Petersen Field Guide describes their appearance as: "A small, dark, heavilystreaked finch with a deeply notched tail, sharply pointed bill...A touch of yellow in wings and a base of tail is not always evident".   I find the presence of yellow in this bird is quite variable (see photo at left).   The plumage of some birds has very little yellow, while in others it is quite noticeable.   The gender of the bird does not appear to play a part in the yellow colour prevalence.   I put out Niger seed all summer, mainly for the Goldfinches, but I'm hoping this year, the siskins will make my backyard at regular stop on their noisy rounds.
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