Pine Siskins Arrive

winter pine siskin

A winter pine siskin (click to enlarge)

Last week a flock of pine siskins appeared. These cute little birds are manic fliers. They swoop around the bird feeder, practically climbing over each other. Some hang upside down. Others circle the feeder waiting for a spot to open up. A group of 15-20 cluster on the ground beneath the feeder, cleaning up the spilled goodies. Then all at once they fly off together. When they leave, the goldfinches, nuthatches and house finches come back to snack. I don’t know how long they will stay this year. Usually just for a few weeks at our house, but others stay in the area all year round.

Winter Chickadees

Winter black-capped Chickadee

Winter black-capped Chickadee

I was on my deck trying to get a picture of some birds with snow capped Mountain Ash berries in the background, when I noticed that there were two species of Chickadees swooping in to grab a sunflower chip from the feeder. I couldn’t recall ever seeing the smaller Mountain Chickadee at my feeder before. Of course, it is easy to take home birds for granted. You see them every day. And we have lots of red breasted nuthatches that have such a bold eye stripe.

In any event, it was fun to catch a few pictures of these cute little fellows. Here is the mountain Chickadee. (Click to enlarge pictures.)

Winter Mountain Chickadee

Winter Mountain Chickadee


Western Bluebirds

Western Blue Gathering Food

Western Bluebird hard at work

One of the advantages of living in the west is having Western Bluebirds to watch. They add color to the day and flashes of light. Once the eggs hatch, it is nothing but work. They grab bugs and grubs. They often pause on a limb above the birdhouse, which is a big plus for a photographer. Very considerate of them to offer a photo op!

Blue Birds Bathing

Bluebirds having a bath.

Bath Time!


Watching these guys take a bath is a blast. They enjoy it so much.