November 04, 2014

No room at the bath



We had about 70 pine siskins show up at our feeders today and then they descended on the pond.
At one point there were 10 in the two small ponds.
It was so crowded that they were hovering waiting for a space to land.

Spinus pinus

Flocks of tiny Pine Siskins may monopolize your thistle feeder one winter and be absent the next. This nomadic finch ranges widely and erratically across the continent each winter in response to seed crops.

Pine Siskins can temporarily store seeds totaling as much as 10% of their body mass in a part of their esophagus called the crop. The energy in that amount of food could get them through 5–6 nighttime hours of subzero temperatures.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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