The Pine Siskins were out in full force today along the Whitemud creek. Despite the frigid temperature (-20 C) they were chirping away in the tree tops only taking a break to swoop down and gorge themselves on sunflower seeds. Pine Siskins are iconic winter birds in these neck of the woods and may look unassuming on first glance, but in the right light they are quite beautiful with bright yellows and olive green feathers.
I was slowly and carefully walking along a narrow meandering trail through a clear it in The Grey Nun’s Spruce Woodlot. A handful Pine Siskins sitting under a log eating sunflower seeds got spooked and took off…., except one. I assumed it would also leave as I got closer to it, but it did not. I ended up less than 2 metres from it and it happily continues eating sunflower seeds. I guess it must have found the sunflower seeds really yummy and figured it was worth the risk of staying.
The Pine Siskins were out in full force all along the Whitemud Ravine. They were chirping and making a lot of noise as they were foraging on dried up catkins. Initially I was thrown for a loop. I have not seen Pine Siskins for a while and these looked too chubby. All the Pine Siskins I have seen previously have been slender and lean looking. These individuals were, however, round and appeared quite well fed. When I submitted my eBird checklist I tentatively put them down as Pine Siskins only because there really was not other realistic alternative. While I was thrown off by their shape, the overall size and color was siskin-like. Once I came home I compared my photos to my reference books, which only corroborated their id.