I mentioned the other day that Siskins (Gealag bhuidhe - Spinus spinus) love eating dandelion seeds.

Well, here is the proof. 😃

The first photo shows a male Siskin holding onto a dandelion stalk, while feeding on the seeds. The second photo shows a female standing on the ground while feeding. These two birds were, I believe, a pair. These two were working close to each other and weren't argumentative. There were several other pairs nearby.

@fitheach We don't have these, although I've just now read reports of them on the other coast, possibly by way of Greenland.
I've never seen anything eating dandelion seeds.
Until about this past week all the yards were a sea of yellow.
Huge collective sigh and then people realized it was time to start mowing regularly again ;-)


Siskins love all kinds of seeds. Later in the summer they like the seeds from thistles, and we sometimes put out niger seed for them.

They are also adept at wangling out seeds from various conifer cones.

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@fitheach Being inland, we have mostly hemlock and balsam, which like to grow together in turns. The odd cedar (they like the coast better). Pine is mostly lodgepole pine - the kind that need a forest fire to pop their cones. I don't think siskins would be 'bird enough' to break in to them, or...?

Siskins are very small birds, with fine beaks. They "sneak into" cones to get the seeds out.

An alternative technique is used by the Scottish Crossbill, their special beaks rip the cones apart.

@fitheach I still don't like their chances with lodgepole cones, but your crossbill might be a contender!
Of course, they are unique to your isles and we don't have any of those either.

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