This gallery contains 2 photos. Although not irrupting in the numbers that they were early last year, we are getting a regular number of visits from these adorably tiny finches. They may be small, but I recently witnessed four of them bully a Song Sparrow (who has a notorious reputation for being a bully) off one of the hanging feeding stations. Pine Siskins are incredibly comfortable around humans. On three separate occasions, I have had them either perching on my long lens, or flying to land on it. Photographed on December 25, 2015.
On the pear tree. Normally they don’t perch so close to the house.
f/7.1, 1/320, 500mm, ISO 800, flash on
Unlike other finches–like Evening/Pine Grosbeaks and House Finches, who have thick, conical bills–the Pine Siskins’ bills are sharp and thinner. The yellow on their wings is the one bit of colour on an otherwise streaky but unspectacular plumage. Their favourite seeds are nyjer and thistle, but they are also fans of the round (red) millet. Like bushtits, Pine Siskins do not appear to be “combative eaters” (as hummingbirds and Juncos are wont to be). Photographed on November 27, 2015.
Taking five on the cherry tree (to the chagrin of its unphotographed companion).
f/10, 1/250, 500mm, ISO 200