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Anyone else seeing a more than average number of Pine Siskins around?

Here in BC, I would normally see about 10 or so throughout the day, but this year my counts are averaging 50+ in a span of about 2 hours. I even saw one flock of 74. My feeder can easily have over 20 birds around as well. It’s just constant pine siskins no matter what time of day. Honestly can’t escape them!
Just have never seen so many before and was wondering if anyone else is noticing the same thing?

The local Merlins seem to be very happy 

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Ron Pittaway does an annual prediction of irruptive species every fall, although it's way too early for him to release the 2020 / 21 forecast.  He takes a lot of factors into account, including available food sources.  Short version, expect to see more of a species at your feeders when local food sources have underproduced for the year.  This force the birds to expand their range to find enough to eat.  It might be worth checking the 20 / 21 report when it comes out.  If he says Pine Siskins are on the move because there isn't expected to be enough white spruce cones this winter; what you're seeing now may be one of his indicators.

http://www.jeaniron.ca/2019/wff19.htm

Here's an interesting report on how Pittaway does it.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/how-ron-pittaway-developed-his-acclaimed-winter-finch-forecast/

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Cool, thanks for the links! I’ll definitely be looking forward to when it comes out. 
I’ve also been seeing lots of Evening grosbeaks, but I don’t really know if it’s more than usual as I only became familiar with the species early this year. Though 26 together seems like a lot.
Would be nice to have a irruption this winter. I’m missing my redpolls!

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  • 2 months later...

A few days ago my yard was full of birds. Waxwings and robins galore. There were large flocks of siskins flying around and perching in the trees but I haven’t seen them since. Not a single siskin  came to my feeder. 

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22 hours ago, Colton V said:

I know nothing about Redpolls. Is there a chance I will be able to see some this winter in Oregon?

About one a winter seems to show up in Portland (where I believe you are). Large flocks can be found around walla walla Washington, but I know that’s a good 4 hour drive from Portland. I don’t know the territory there. I’ve never been East in Oregon of the dalles. 

Edited by Connor Cochrane
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Realized that most of these ‘winter’ finches are my summer / year round finches 😁

The pine Siskins stayed in very high numbers as did the grosbeaks in the Shuswap until I left on September 16th. 

Here in Calgary, Pine Siskins usually are here in high number from August-October so haven’t seen any for a while, but I know certain areas of the city have them year round. Evening grosbeaks almost never come here, but a few have been reported lately. 

I did see a Red Crossbill the other day though. Looking at eBird in the last 2 days Redpolls have started to show up as well. 

Hoping to see the redpolls, they’re the only winter finch I need to see for my year list. And I guess white-winged Crossbills but don’t expect to see those anytime soon. 

As for now the only winter bird boom I’m experiencing is hoards of starlings. Never have seen so many here before. 

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I noted having them here in central SC in another discussion.  I've only had them at my feeders three times in 17 years, all three times in the last six winters, never before January.  I've had them the last couple of days, and other birders in the county have been reporting them for at least a week.

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You heard it here first folks 😎 Haha.

I had 2 RB nuthatches in my yard today, had my first ever one in my yard just earlier this month. Though they live near me normally, just never seen them actually visit before. 

The one day I had a flock of ~300 starlings fly over my house. Usually I see one flock of about 50 normally. Don’t know what’s going on there.  2 found my feeder today... hopefully they don’t tell their friends. 😬

No more Pine Siskins it looks like for me this year, guess I’ll see them when I head back out to BC in March

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On 10/24/2020 at 11:14 PM, Aaron said:

I had 2 RB nuthatches in my yard today, had my first ever one in my yard just earlier this month. Though they live near me normally, just never seen them actually visit before. 

I saw my lifer RBNU on a trip to Upper Michigan in September.  Now they're being reported in central SC by the handsful.  It was the same with Purple Finches.  Traveled to New England and listed my lifer, then they irrupted into SC and were hanging out at my feeders.

Stupid birds ...

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