If you have been fortunate enough to host pine siskins at your feeders this past winter, the small, sparrow-like birds probably fed on thistle (Niger) or sunflower seeds. Although I did not see a pine siskin at my feeders this year until today, it has been my experience when the birds do appear, they rarely feed on anything else.
However, after feeding birds for decades I have also learned that birds will surprise you. For some unknown reason, they will suddenly eat something you never expected they would touch.
This lesson was reinforced today. Throughout the winter, I have watched tufted titmice, Carolina chickadees, Carolina wrens, northern mockingbirds, and even American goldfinches regularly chisel out bits of peanuts from the feeder.
For some reason, today a pine siskin joined a female American goldfinch pecking away on peanuts. What made the bird’s choice even more unusual was the fact the bird did not visit one of the two nearby feeders stocked with black oil sunflower seeds.
Perhaps the bird tried the peanuts and did not like them and I will never see it again.. Who knows? One thing I do know is, if a siskin shows up at my peanut feeder again, I will be ready to photograph the event.