Well, Mother Nature made it official earlier this week; fall is upon us! Despite some above-average temperature swings, the leaves on the trees have already began to turn colours (and some are even falling!) and with that, most of our summer birds are in more southern locales.
While we have certainly bid farewell to many of our summer birds, it is an exciting time as we begin to prepare for more new visitors as our finch species begin to move around in search of reliable food sources.
In tandem with this year’s annual finch forecast, we thought it would be timely to touch on a few helpful hints and tips that can prepare your yard for a possible visit from a finch or two. There is definitely a lot that goes into our chances of spotting house finches, purple finches, redpolls and the like. Let’s break down this year’s potential as well as what you can do to increase your chances of spotting these wonderful birds of winter.
As we roll into 2020 (yes, 20 years since Y2K), this year’s forecasts are already all the buzz in the birding world, and to be honest, it’s not all roses. At least for us here in Eastern Ontario.
The truth is, seed and cone crops in Northern Ontario and the Boreal Forest are in really great shape and are one of the main contributing factors to irruptions of finch species in our area during the winter months.
When food availability is good up north, our finch species tend to stick around and conversely, when food is low, they will head south in search of more favourable conditions.
This doesn’t mean we won’t see any finches this year, as there are already a number of reported sightings of pine siskins and grosbeaks close by. In fact, species such as the house finch typically head to the northern portion of the United States and many are expecting them to remain north of the border, which presents some great opportunity for our neck of the woods.
So how do we attract them to our yard and more importantly, keep them there? Food, of course! These birds are suckers for a good offering of nyjer seed or black oil sunflower seed; two of our best-selling winter seed offerings.
So, get those feeders shined up, filled up and hung. While it might feel mild outside today, rest assured colder weather is on the horizon, as are our finches!