Pine Siskins

Nothing but cruddy weather here again today, I hope it at least brings some snow to the Salt Lake Valley but on gray days like this I start thinking about spring’s arrival, what the spring migration will bring and camping!

This Pine Siskin image was taken the first time I went camping in the high Uintas of Utah. The campsite was very close to the Bear River with willows on the shoreline and huge pines that shaded the campsite plus it was warm enough that I could take off my shoes and stick my feet into the water. It is an amazing location.


 Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus) in the high Uintas –  Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

While exploring the area and it’s breath taking beauty I spotted a large flock of Pine Siskin’s feeding on the seedheads of Mule Ears (Wyethia amplexicaulis).

Pine Siskins are in the Finch family and can be found where there are conifers, spruces and pines and quite often in parks and suburbs. There were well over 100 birds in this flock and it was a challenge to keep up with the fast moving Siskins. They may not be as flashy as their American Goldfinch relatives but they are beautiful, fascinating birds.



  1. Dan Huber February 14, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Super shot Mia. I just had my first of the season at my feeders the other day (that I know of). Last year had dozens daily all winter. I missed them.

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Dan, thanks for your comment on this Siskin image. Since it has been so warm here haven’t been many birds at the feeder so I haven’t seen any Siskins this winter, I’ll have to look for them in the mountains this summer.

  2. Bob Zeller February 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Boy, you sure captured this one nicely, Mia. Great photo.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you Bob, you are very kind

  3. Julie G. February 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Mia, outstanding capture of a beautiful Pine Siskin! I’ve noticed a few in our area (midwest) of late. I was surprised to see three of them snaking on a suet block.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Julie, thanks for your comment. I think they are a wonderful find at a bird feeder!

  4. Linda Rockwell February 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Lovely photo Mia. I love Pine Siskins. We have them here in New Mexico, and I occasionally see them at my feeders in Corrales.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Linda, I love them too for their subtle coloration and that flash of yellow!

  5. Scott February 13, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Nice shot, Mia. Beautiful setting. We’ve been missing these birds. Last year they were a regular visitor through much of the year, and now we’ve seen not a one for months.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 6:04 am

      Scott, thanks for your kind comment. Pine Siskins are noted for being very nomadic, one never knows when they might show up!

  6. Julie Brown February 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I love this habitat shot, Mia. They are handsome birds. I keep watching my feeders, hoping to see one.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 6:03 am

      Thanks Julie, I loved the habitat in this image.

  7. Tammy Karr February 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Outstanding job showcasing this bird’s beauty. Sounds like a great place for camping!

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Tammy it was a fantastic place to camp. Very peaceful and birdy too!Thanks for your comment.

  8. Laurence Butler February 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Lovely shot! It’s a beautiful bird with those hints of yellow, but I think it’s the Mule Ears all around that make this picture wonderful.

    • Mia McPherson February 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks Laurence, the Mule Ears in bloom are just beautiful and I love that the Siskins eat the seeds.

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