Backyard Birds – December 28 – January 3

Some new additions to the regulars at the feeders this week. Late last week we had a few Pine Siskins and a couple of American Goldfinches at the feeders. I added a tube feeder with black oil sunflower seeds and some niger seeds and that brought in the finches. We’ve had over 40 Pine Siskins and close to a dozen American Goldfinch regularly at the tube feeder and feeding on the ground.

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), new regulars at the feeder.

Unfortunately we haven’t seen the Mourning Dove at all this week – hopefully it has moved on. No sign of a bird kill in the garden either so I think that perhaps the cats did not take it out. Our chicken wire extension on the fence met with our neighbour’s disapproval and he took it down – I suppose that I should have asked him before putting it up. I talked to him about it and his take on the situation was that it wouldn’t make any difference because the cats would just go around the fence anyway. I do have “approval” to put up the chicken wire on poles “as long as they’re not attached to his fence.” Did I mention that the fence isn’t finished yet or that his wife works for the SPCA? That’s my cat rant for the week – done.

Pine Siskins and American Goldfinch
Pine Siskins (Carduelis pinus) and American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) jockey for position on the tube feeder.

Highlight birds this week were definitely the large numbers of Pine Siskins and American Goldfinch. Really cool to see those in an “urban” small town setting. The Ruby-crowned Kinglet continues to make daily appearances as does the single White-crowned Sparrow.

Here’s the species list for the week:

  • Song Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco (including 1 Slate-coloured Junco)
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  • Spotted Towhee
  • House Finch
  • Purple Finch
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Pine Siskin
  • European Starling
  • American Goldfinch

As part of Project FeederWatch, I’m keeping an eye on our feeders two days out of the week to help scientists track winter bird activity, abundance and diversity. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two drinking coffee and peering out into the rain. I’ve also decided to start a yard list of all the birds that visit our backyard.

Project FeederWatch