2013 and beyond

It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.

2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.

Friday, January 15, 2010


A flock of 13 American Robin (#22) flew over as I finished filling the feeders this morning. A subsequent walk of the property totaled 18 species with 4 Pine Siskin (#23) chattering in the tree-tops. The snow is diminished enough now that snowshoes aren't as necessary. Here's the eBird list:

Observation date: 1/15/10
Number of species: 18

Herring Gull (American) 1
Mourning Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 3
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Tufted Titmouse 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Robin 13
European Starling 5
Dark-eyed Junco 8
Northern Cardinal 8
House Finch 5
Pine Siskin 4
American Goldfinch 11
House Sparrow 42


  1. I don't know if this is true over on the MI side, but I was just talking with Tom Prestby on Monday about the relative scarcity of PISI this winter over in WI and IL. He and I have found a grand total of 3 birds this fall/winter between the two of us. Is it a poor year for the species over there as well? How about Skye, have you been seeing many siskins up by you?

  2. Well, in a normal winter I'll have a few to 10+ PISI at the nyjer feeder. This year I am yet to see one, despite a good presence in the yard until at least May (I was even wondering about breeding). AMGO are also amazingly scarce this year- with only occasional visits of usually 1-2 birds. I have had up to 8 briefly the last week, but for reference, I have not refilled my nyjer feeder in literally months, and it is 1/3 empty!

  3. I concur. This is a blah finch winter thus far. However, we (in MI at least) have been spoiled by the superb irruptions of both redpolls, WWCR, PISI the previous consecutive winters. The amount of seed I've bought this season is way down due to the low volume being consumed. The PISI today were not staying for a meal. They investigated the area around the feeding stations from the tree-tops and then quickly departed - not even a two minute layover.

    Ron Pittaway somewhat sums up the rationale for the lack of finches in his '09-'10 Winter Finch Forecast. Although it is primarily intended for the provinces, much of the info can be applied to projections for the northern border states, as well. It can be read here:


  4. Hmm, it's a poor Eurasian Siskin winter here so far, and one would expect that this is not just due to the extreme cold spell from late December to last weekend...there were few birds around before that either. The species breeds in Ireland, and is not too uncommon in commercial Sitka Spruce plantations, but some autumns see large influxes, presumably related to widespread failure of the seed crop.
    2005 was an AMAZING autumn for this species, with dozens upon dozens on any day that one went to a coastal headland...interestingly, that was a big influx year for Hawfinch also, a species which is not seen annually in Ireland (but which may winter annually in tiny numbers, or even breed).

  5. Sean, all,

    Not so good with the finches up here right now. Siskins are either singletons with goldfinchs or tiny, tiny flocklets flying overhead. I had a few Redpolls up the Peshekee last week- first I've seen since late fall!

    Harry- amusingly enough, a friend of mine photographed a Euro-Siskin at her feeders up here in the Yoop (a colloquial name of my quaint little northlands)last month- probably an escapee, but who knows?

  6. My Goldfinches are just as numerous this year as last...I'm topping off my feeder every other day or so. It's usually down 1/3 by then. If the large flock of House Sparrows didn't chase them off so often, the nyjer would be depleted even faster!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.