- Dec 13, 2007
- Reaction score
- border, ID/WA(!)
Little Brown Jobs, LBJ's....
I am pleased to say that I am now all but certain that a very common bird in my garden is a Pine Siskin. They have perplexed me for a number of years.
At first, I thought that they may be all House Finches but there were LBJ's that would arrive in little flocks and I couldn't see red on any of them. Besides, I have learned in recent years that House Finches don't always show up since we are at the northern most of their range. There weren't any that I could identify a season or 2 ago and few this year.
I am reminded of female Goldfinches when I see the mysterious LBJ's. However, they were obviously foraging on the ground and likely for insects as well as seeds. The LBJ's would even chase large, flying insects to catch them. Seedeaters, Goldfinches don't forage for insects.
They weren't Song Sparrows; they absolutely aren't big enough. I have had Goldfinches, Song Sparrows and a few House Sparrows regularly in the garden to compare.
I thought I knew what Pine Siskins are. They were common where I once lived but that was in a Pine forest. My garden is a good 2 miles from what I would call a forest and I never see this tiny LBJ's fly 100 yards! Well, about 200 yards from my garden are quite a few evergreen trees neighbors once planted around their corral. Still, it isn't a forest.
Out there without my binoculars, I just had to be close enough, be patient, study the literature on behavior, dispel some disbelief. The LBJ's are Pine Siskins. LINK .