Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pine Siskin, American Redstart Comparison

We have had a lot of Pine Siskin visitors recently and the other day I had caught the image of one in flight as it flew away from the Niger seed feeder bag. I was very surprised to see such a spread of yellow at its tail feathers and I enlarged the photo to get a better view. As I studied the picture of this surprisingly colourful male Pine Siskin I kept thinking = female American Redstart? So I just had to go to my photo archives and check out my hunch to see how close the colour patterning between these two species was.Pine Siskins and American Redstarts are of a similar size, the Siskin being 5' in length and the Redstart 5.25", and as I placed the photos side by side I was pleased to see the similarity I had noticed when first sighting the Pine Siskin.
It was a nice breath of summer to have been reminded of this litte summer warbler, an American Redstart, on such a cold wintry day.

13 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

What a keen observation.I had never seen the similarities,but it is quite evident,as you point out.I will be looking at the Siskins more closely now.Thanks.
Blessings,Ruth

2sweetnsaxy said...

Not being that familiar with birds I probably would not have notice the difference. Love your shots, especially the one in fight.

Mary said...

I've never noticed that yellow on the pine siskins tail....never see it in flight like this! That is very interesting to see the two together. I've never seen a Redstart so I can't compare.

Deborah Godin said...

Good observations and keen sleuthing! Love how you can magnify parts of the photo. Great stuff!!

Tina said...

Good eye! I am too new at birding and would not have picked up on this similarity...so it was very nice to read your post and learn. Don't you love it when you capture a surprise on your camera, like a bird in flight or in an interesting pose!! Thanks for sharing.

JewWishes said...

Thanks for pointing out the difference to this bird lover.

Great photos.

Appalachian Lady said...

I have never seen a Pine Siskin but have seen the American Redstart when they migrate through. I guess I would have a hard time telling which is which.

Ruth said...

I seldom notice that much yellow on the Pine Siskins here. Great pictures and comparisons. At least they don't appear in the same season to confuse me.

Sharon said...

I could never understand how people got hooked into bird watching, but after seeing all of your beautiful photos on your blog...I now understand.

ramblingwoods.com said...

This is great Ann..I love to learn something new..I almost missed the siskins with the goldfinch. You have to watch carefully...

Becky and Gary said...

I never would have picked up on the Redstart. I have so many Siskins this year like never before. I was hoping the Redpolls would show up with them, but no such luck. Super shots Ann.
B.

Kay said...

I love these photos of the pine siskins. Beautifully captured.

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