The Pine Siskin
Pine Siskins are one of the many species of boreal birds that are erratic in their winter travels and in their appearance in an area. There were few and far between in the winter of 2013-14 here in Massachusetts, but there are indications already that this winter will be good for this perky, extremely social bird that is often found associating with goldfinches. Many times siskins can be mistaken for female goldfinches but a close look will show a streaky bird with a very pointed bill and traces of yellow especially in the wing. It is fun to watch a flock of siskins, they are very active, they dangle upside down when feeding, getting seeds from conifer cones. Siskins are often easily approached and seem fearless compared with the goldfinches. Easily will come to a bird feeder, especially one with thistle seed, they are often the bully at a feeder chasing away any bird including other siskins.
At Mount Auburn they could be found anywhere but favorite trees would be the Birches, the Poplars, the Willows and the Alders where they feed on the catkins or tassels.