Pine Siskins, Ramble

Pine Siskin female, Ontario, Canada.

Pine Siskin, female

Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 47 species including two warblers (Yellow-rumped and Palm) and 7 sparrows.

Lenore saw a flock of around six Pine Siskins, a new bird for both the season and the year (#155). Though Pine Siskins have been migrating in huge numbers this year (a report from Long Island over the weekend had 12,000 passing in a single day), it seems they pass through quickly, mostly not remaining resident, and their migration path does not necessarily take them through Central Park.

Seeing them is not easy. They tend to move from tree to tree in flocks without spending much time in any one place — so there is little point in waiting for an alert of a confirmed sighting. You will not get there in time! They do seem to like the Dawn Redwoods at the north end of Strawberry Fields, but they have appeared at many other places in the Ramble. The best thing you can do is learn their rising flight call, the Zhreee call, and listen for it. It is distinctive. Sooner or later you will hear or see some Siskins.

The group also added another new bird for the season, a female Red-winged Blackbird.

Other highlights today include: American Kestrel, Hairy WoodpeckerWhite-crowned Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Pied-billed Grebe, and Purple Finch.