[CT Birds] scarsity of finches etc...
nbonomo at gmail.com
Fri Nov 30 15:12:57 EST 2012
Yep, as Kevin & Paul note, it seems that we are in a bit of a winter
finch lull in Connecticut. There's no doubt that the bulk of the
Purple Finches and Pine Siskins have already passed through CT (in
great numbers!). These species tend to move early and, in big flight
years with little local food, will just keep on going through except
for some stragglers. In recent years, when Evening Grosbeaks have
occurred, they too have often made a small October push only to be
scarce or absent during winter.
The crossbills certainly came early, and I would not count out other
bursts of sightings as the season progresses. They are generally the
most difficult of the irruptives to predict. Hopefully some will
settle into those coastal black pine groves for the winter. If you
didn't see these earlier this month, you only have yourself to blame!!
We can expect another group of species later in the season: Pine
Grosbeak, Common (and Hoary) Redpoll, and Bohemian Waxwing. These
species are generally the latest (and rarest) of the irruptive
passerines to reach us. I would be surprised if we don't see all four
of those species at some point this winter in Connecticut, even if we
have to wait until February for some. That being said, I'd expect Pine
Grosbeaks and more redpolls by the end of the year. We may have to
wait a while for the waxwings and a big redpoll push. But starting
now, every flock of Common Redpolls should be checked closely for
Here's a summary of what I think we can expect:
Purple Finch - very scarce this winter
Pine Siskin - scarce this winter, but some will settle into feeders
Red & White-winged Crossbill - Really tough to predict, but with so
many around recently I would hope that some continue through the
winter. Can come and go at any time. Coastal or inland.
Evening Grosbeak - very scarce this winter with only a few at feeders,
I fear we've seen their peak already with that brief October push
(hope I'm wrong!).
Pine Grosbeak - Expect an arrival by the end of the year, should have
some chaseable flocks this winter in NW CT.
Common Redpoll - Numbers should build through the winter to impressive
numbers at times, should be the most common finch at some feeders
Hoary Redpoll - Expect a couple of these with redpoll flocks this
winter. Get photos if you can! A notoriously difficult ID and really
Bohemian Waxwing - I'm pretty sure we'll see them, but the question is
when? Could get a few before the end of the year, but may have to wait
until Feb/March when numbers often move south as food sources are
consumed in central/northern New England.
On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 7:50 AM, <Kfinnan at aol.com> wrote:
> Paul - After my recent whining about the relative lack of winter finches
> here, a small flock (<12) of Pine Siskins moved through high in the trees,
> this morning.
> Kevin Finnan
> In a message dated 11/29/2012 7:56:40 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net writes:
> I believe the finches have mostly left this area because their is little
> food here
> to sustain them, esp over a winter. In my posting last week about the
> of tree seed
> food here in the NW parts of CT, points toward this conclusion. One of the
> emergency foods many finches occasionally rely on are tree buds. I saw a
> House finch feeding from a Maple tree here in Harwinton today on buds, and
> suggests to
> me, of the scarcity of food they are dealing with here in CT.
> Can I ask if anyone out there might also do a survey of their areas and
> on your results of the tree seed crop seen? Especially the cones on all
> and cones
> on white,gray,yellow Birches (not catkins) Alder and other tree/bush seeds
> to be
> I think this might give us a more complete picture of what this winter
> here in
> CT will be
> like for seeing and/or keeping winter finches. Weed crops however, do seem
> to be
> in good supply
> this year, and many finches will eat weed seeds as well.
> Paul Carrier - Harwinton
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