As usual, we are very excited to read Ron Pittaway’s Winter Finch Report. Ron Pittaway has become the most reliable source for birders in North America looking to understand what the finches are up to. This has become one of the most reliable sources so we will share some highlights from the report.
Pittaway says “Cone crops in the Northeast are bumper in 2017. It is the best cone crop in a decade or more. This will be a banner winter to see boreal finches in central and northeastern Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, northern New York, and northern New England States. “
Some of the features of this year’s report are
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH: This nuthatch is now in areas with high cone abundance. Its presence indicates that White-winged and Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins and Purple Finches will be in the same areas.
COMMON REDPOLL: Redpolls should move south because White Birch and alder seed crops are below average in northern Ontario. However, as redpolls move south they likely will be slowed or stopped by abundant conifer seed crops and better birch crops. If they get into southern Ontario south of latitude 45, good seed crops on birches and European Black Alder, and an abundance of weedy fields this year will attract them. When redpolls discover your nyger seed feeders, feeding frenzies result. Feeders are best for studying fidgety redpolls. Watch for the larger and darker “Greater” Common Redpoll (subspecies rostrata) from Baffin Island (Nunavut) and Greenland.