Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Siskin Silence

The Pine Siskins have gone. The little brown-streaked birds with ravenous appetites that first appeared in our yard in mid January, swarming the finch feeder and keeping it busy every day since then, have finally left for their homes in the far north and west.

Their absence was the first thing I noticed when I stepped outside this morning, into a cool, gray, drizzly day. The chirping and zhrrreeeeee calls that had become a familiar part of the sounds around the house could not be heard. The pine tops where they had gathered stood empty and quiet.

We had taken down the finch feeder a couple of days ago, on Sunday, deciding that it was time to let them go. All Sunday afternoon and most of Monday several Siskins continued to hang around in the branches over where the feeder had been, sometimes fluttering in the air, as if it must be there somewhere, or they were certain it would return. Even yesterday there still were a dozen or two Siskins in the pines, a few visiting the bird baths and feeders out front, and many chirping and calling.

But this morning – Siskin silence.


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