What a year this has been! Lots of birds. Around Labor day, we started getting reports of Red-Breasted Nuthatches. That is early for our area. They don't usually show up-if they are going to-until around December. We do have them occasionally, but we were getting a lot of reports! Sure enough, about mid-September we noticed them at home. They are the cutest little bird! Very friendly. I had several encounters with them as I was filling feeders. They just did not want to leave so I could put more seeds in the feeders. Well, if the Red-breasted Nuthatches are here, we now need to be on the lookout for the Common Redpoll. They showed up about the first week in December. Another bird that shows up when the Redpolls' and Red-breasted Nuthatches are here is the Pine Siskin. Sure enough we have been getting reports of them too. No wonder we are selling bird seed like crazy. Our daughter lives on the third floor of an apartment building and she got this great picture of the Common Redpoll sitting on her planter box.
Make sure you have plenty of Nyjer (thistle) feeders out and a heated bird bath available when you have an invasion of the winter finches at your house! Yesterday was Christmas-our only day off in a month-and we finally got to see all the birds that have been devouring our seed on a daily basis, and saw just why the heated bird bath is usually fairly dry when we go out to fill feeders. It is always amazing to see them lined up along the edge and drinking and then flying back to the feeders to eat some more.