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Nov 20, 2014

Pittaway's predictions for winter finches

                                                                                                                                             Photo by BarrytheBirder
The GBBC eNewsletter for November 2014 popped up on my computer screen on Tuesday and one of the feature articles is on the Winter Finch Forecast 2014-2015 by Ron Pittaway of the Toronto Field Ornithologists..   Ron has now produced this list for 15 years and this winter's forecast was produced with the help of 34 birding experts, located from Alaska to Newfoundland to the Adirondacks.   The good news is that this winter will be better than last winter for finch movements.   2013/2014 was a disappointing experience  but this winter will be an improvement in that half the sought-after species should make it to southern Ontario, but the other half probably won't (no guarantees of course).   Birders in my part of the province (York Region/north of Toronto) should get to see their share of Purple Finches, Red-breasted Nuthatchs, Common Redpolls and some Hoary Redpolls, plus Red Crossbills. We probably won't see much in the way of Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Bohemian Waxwings, or even Blue Jays.   The selections are governed by many factors, which run the gamut from seed, berry, nut and cone crops, to Spruce Budworm, to specific tree species cycles.   Personally, I have no expectations and will take whatever comes to my backyard feeders.   Approximately 25 hungry Juncos have already been here for a month and they are most welcome.

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