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NATURE WATCH: Finches Arrive With Frosty Mornings

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by Chip Darmstadt

 

Our frosty mornings are now coinciding with the arrival of winter finches. Our resident American Goldfinches have been joined by Pine Siskins, Purple Finches and Evening Grosbeaks. Listen for the nasal, ascending calls of Pine Siskins and the loud chirps of Evening Grosbeaks as they fly overhead — and perhaps stop to descend on your bird feeders. Siskins are brown and streaky, sporting flashes of yellow, while the grosbeaks resemble oversized goldfinches with large, white wing patches. Cone crops to the north dictate which finches come to Vermont in any given season. This year the low supply of White Spruce seeds is sending the siskins our way.

Our regular “Nature Watch” columnist, Nona Estrin, will be away until mid-January at which time she will resume sharing her insights with Bridge readers. In the meantime, please enjoy this “Nature Watch” piece by Chip Darmstadt.

Chip is an avid naturalist with an insatiable interest in everything from butterflies to birds. He is the director of the North Branch Nature Center on Elm Street in Montpelier. Visit NBNC on the Web at NorthBranchNatureCenter.org or call 229-6206. Call Chip to participate in this year’s Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 19.