Pine Siskins are tiny song birds, only about five inches tall, with sharp-pointed beaks. They are brown and streaked heavily all over, with a distinguishing characteristic of faint yellow in the wings and at the base of their tail. The tail is forked, making them acrobatic flyers and the yellow becomes more apparent while they are in flight. They are birds that roam, generally found in coniferous wooded areas. Pine siskins generally flock and at times are found with goldfinches in the cold months of the year. They can be seen clinging to the tips of tree branches, where they pick at seeds or buds, they also eat thistle and insects. Pine siskins are known for irruptions, which are the unpredictable and irregular migration in large numbers, to areas not typical for them. They will travel great distances from their normal range, usually due to lack of food in wintering areas, either from a bad harvest, harsh weather or over-breeding. In my back yard, I see pine siskins pretty regularly. On a hike, I came across this one, it was flitting around the tree tops seeking food and was not scared or concerned about my presence at all.

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