[CT Birds] winter finches

Bear, Joe, RBSGC Joe.Bear at rbsgc.com
Thu Nov 1 17:09:52 EDT 2007


In the 6 years I've lived in N. Wilton, I've had Pine Siskens and Purple
Finches most years, RB Nuts only a couple.  My personal experience, with
Siskens in particular, is that if you keep your feeders topped up,
they'll hang around for weeks if not longer.  I've found this a bit less
so with Purple Finches, and not at all with RB Nuts.  I imagine they're
all driven to find a reliable food source, so why leave when the getting
is good- who knows?  Siskens, being highly nomadic, typically travel in
flocks- I've found that if I keep the seed level high enough in the
feeders such that several birds can perch and feed at the same time,
that increases the likelihood of them hanging around.  If the seed level
gets too low such that only a couple of birds are able to feed, the
nomadic flock tends to move off.  Anyhow, that's been my experience.
Then of course comes the problem of having the time to keep the feeders
always full :)

Joe Bear
Wilton

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 20:54:44 -0400
From: "Tom Sayers" <sayers.tom at gmail.com>
Subject: [CT Birds] winter finches
To: "ct birds forum" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Three to four weeks ago I had numerous-6+- pine siskins, many more
purple
finches, and 2 red breasted nuthatches frequenting my yard and school
feeders. Since then there has been a steady decline in the number of all
of
those species at my feeders. My questions to those of you who have
experienced many of these irruptive cycles is this. Did those early
birds
represent an early push that has moved on? Will there be later arrivals
which will more likely stay the winter? Is there really no predictable
pattern to the ebb and flow in these irruptive cycles? Thanks. Tom
Sayers

Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 10:23:00 -0400
From: "COMINS, Patrick" <PCOMINS at audubon.org>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] winter finches
To: ct birds forum <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
In My experience it is tough to know for sure when the winter finches
will come and how long they will stay.  I have seen big fall flights of
which nearly none stay for the winter and there ends up being a lot of
winter reports from places as far south as Georgia.  Other winters have
had few migrants and then suddenly flocks of redpolls showing up in late
winter.  Some winters the finches come to feeders and other years they
seem to stick to wild food sources like birch catkins or weed seeds.

All that can be predicted with reasonable confidence is whether or not
they will move at all, not where they will go or stay.  This year the
signs are there for a big movement and we have been experiencing some of
that. Whether or not they hang around won't be known for sure until
later.

Patrick Comins, Meriden
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