Pine Siskins Return!

debbie viess

For the past several days we have observed pine siskins foraging in mixed species flocks around our well landscaped house in Sheffield Village, Oakland.
They particularly appreciate our liquidamber street trees, and unlike most birds, manage to extricate those craftily buried seeds.

Yesterday morning, my husband called me to the kitchen window. In our backyard, along the rim of a brimming trash can rain barrel, perched dozens of pine siskins. They jockeyed for position, displaced and replaced each other. Some flew down to try their luck at the trash can lid on the ground, which was also full of water. A separate shallow pan of water that we keep for our cat also hosted siskins. Even more members of the flock perched in our fig tree, waiting for their opportunity to dip a beak. As they were coming and going and in several places at once, I could only get a rough number estimate, but there were certainly more than 40 birds.

Not sure why our backyard was such a hit, with a flowing San Leandro Creek right across the street, but hey, it worked for us. And, apparently, them.