Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Feeder Birds 12/31

The recent cold weather and snow has brought good numbers of the birds to my feeding station. Yesterday and today in approximately 60 Pine Siskins and 25 American Goldfinches have been the "headliners". It took 3 photos to show the birds that were on my deck this morning.

The morning feeder crowd just after 8AM.

The back rail
Oil prices dropped, so these guys are going to help the oil man put me in the poor house.

Close up digi-bin photo

One of the siskins was very yellow, I have seen in David Sibley's guide reference to a yellow variant that is fairly unusual but more common in the southwest. I am not sure if this is of that form, but it looks pretty close. I recall seeing a similar, but even more yellow siskin in Gardner about 5 years ago. Below are a few digi-bin shots
The yellow siskin.
"yellow" siskin near a House Finch.

Another view.

A frontal view, showing a bit of yellow.

A seemly healthy looking House Finch, on 12/30

The same bird as above, but the other side tells another story.
The was an American Goldfinch a few days previous, that had conjunctivitis in both eyes. It had to flutter a good deal before landing on a perch due to its limited eyesight. I'll be keeping the feeders clean, hopefully the neighbors will too. The Cornell web site mentions these diseased birds often show at feeding stations alone, the above House Finch was indeed a loner. I did not see it today 12/31.
12/31 feeder list:

Mourning Dove...15
Red-bellied Woodpecker...1
Downy Woodpecker...2
Black-capped Chickadee...6
Tufted Titmouse...2
White-breasted Nuthatch...2
European Starling...1
American Tree Sparrow...1
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)...6
House Finch...6
Pine Siskin...60
American Goldfinch...24

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