Sunday, December 28, 2008

Robins & Siskins

Christmas Day a flock of about 15robins visited the crabapple, picking the dried (and probably fermented) fruit.

Usually a few siskins mix in with the goldfinches, but again on Christmas Day we had a flock of siskins with only a couple of goldfinches. What is particularly interesting is the slight red that appears to be a remaining trace of young birds' gape flange. I don't know if this was present on all of the siskins, but it was quite apparent in my photographs of the birds on the sunflower feeder just outside the window - close enough to get that detail. I find this interesting since the siskins nest early, unlike their goldfinch cousins. I would expect this sign of young birds to have faded by now. I'd love to hear from someone who could shed more light for me.



These birds don't feed on the apples, but a flock of 20 waxwings hurried through in search of apple ciderjack in the the fruit.

2 comments:

Kallen305 said...

I can't comment on the siskins because I am not fortunate enough to have them in my yard but I did see two robins over the past couple of days. I too live in New England and in the past, I thought they all went south for the winter.

They were eating privet berries from one of my trees and searching for food. It was a wonderful sight to see being winter and all.

I love your waxwing photo. I didn't know they won't eat crab apples. You would think they would eat any fruit around this time as I assuming a lot of their choice fruit is gone or frozen.

Martin Langeveld said...

Just noticed today a flock of siskins at our feeder in the south end of Vernon. We've never seen them before. My Audubon bird guide says they come south when the seed crop in northern boreal forests is not good.

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