Pine Siskin: Perfect Feeder Visitor
Jan 16, 2019

Pine Siskin: Perfect Feeder Visitor

They are dapper-looking but not striking. They favor thistle, but they have a more flexible palate when it comes to wild food. Above all, they are tolerant of other birds. WBB contributor Eirik A.T. Blom finds pine siskins to be the perfect feeder visitor.
House Finches and Winter Weather
Jan 9, 2019

House Finches and Winter Weather

Many birds prepare for the rigors of winter by adding weight in the form of fat layers. They do this by increasing their feeding rates and by seeking out fat-rich food sources. House finches—which can be a joy or a plague, depending on how many are frequenting your feeder—apparently do not use this strategy. A study of house finches at a feeder in Indiana indicates that the birds do not gain weight with the onset of cold weather.
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Dear Birdsquatch: Will Our Feeder Birds Starve While We're on Vacation?
Jan 2, 2019

Dear Birdsquatch: Will Our Feeder Birds Starve While We're on Vacation?

Dear Birdsquatch: My wife and I will be spending two weeks in Ecuador this February. What if there's superfrigid weather while we're gone, or an ice storm? I'm concerned that our feeder birds will starve. Should we hire a pet sitter to come fill our bird feeders while we're away, even though we don't have pets?
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Make a Resolution to Start a Yard List!
Dec 26, 2018

Make a Resolution to Start a Yard List!

You don't have to be an avid birder to keep a bird list. If you're serious about feeding the birds, why not keep track of the bird species that you have seen at your feeders, in your trees and shrubbery, or otherwise in or over your yard or property?
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Top 10 Things to Do in Winter
Dec 19, 2018

Top 10 Things to Do in Winter

Just because the days are shorter and the warblers and hummingbirds are gone from our midst (for most of us, that is) doesn't mean we should put our binoculars, field guides, and bird-watching plans in storage for the winter. There are many winter activities we can enjoy as backyard bird watchers. Here are a few suggestions.
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Look for Pine Siskins
Dec 12, 2018

Look for Pine Siskins

Are there pine siskins at your thistle feeder? They're easy to overlook, since they are streaky brown, like female house and purple finches, but have wing bars like an American goldfinch. They often turn up in flocks with their finch cousins, and blend in, unnoticed. Keep an eye out for a small, finely streaked finch with yellow at the base of a notched tail.
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