A Travellerspoint blog

Thanksgiving Day Backyard Birding

overcast 29 °F

Today the noisy calls of PINE SISKINS, coming from my backyard, interrupted my glorious Thanksgiving slumber at 8:45am. Any other bird would have annoyed me, but these are the first Siskins I have actually seen in my backyard for nearly two years, so I am quite happy about this! Pine Siskins are an irruptive winter finch species, meaning that they migrate south into the lower 48 states only some winters, but not others. Two years ago, these birds were seen in my backyard throughout the winter, but last year they were conspicuously absent.

The Siskins enjoyed feeding on the thistle feeder this morning. Here is a male:

Male DOWNY WOODPECKER, gender determined by the red patch on its head:

Male PINE SISKIN, gender determined by the yellow wing bars:

Three species of birds feasted on the thistle feeders this morning, namely HOUSE SPARROWS, AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, and PINE SISKINS (all pictured in this photo):

The Siskins defended themselves well against the larger, aggressive House Sparrows:

This male DARK-EYED JUNCO even made an appearance at the avian Thanksgiving feast, as well:

This nonbreeding-plumaged male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH wishes you a happy Thanksgiving!

Good birding,

World Life List: 703 Species (no life birds today)

11 species today:

Mourning Dove 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
American Crow 2
American Robin 5
European Starling 4
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Northern Cardinal 10
Pine Siskin 5
American Goldfinch 4
House Sparrow 70

Posted by skwclar 10:49 Archived in USA

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Hi Henry, happy Thanksgiving! One of the things I miss most about being away from Chicago is the birding, winter finches and wintering ducks at this time of year. Since I became a birder in May 2013, I did not see winter finches at all due to the one winter they were absent. Nice job!

by isoo

Wonderful photos! thanks for posting!
The Gunkels (Stas' family)

by Ann Gunkel

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