We had a plethora of Goldfinches earlier in the season.  About the 
time they went missing, my (wildlife biologist) son in NC reported 
them showing up at his feeders in spades.  Several weeks later, we 
had some back, but a smaller contingent, with other finches mixed 
in.  So perhaps the big flocks we had earlier on have shifted to the 
south and the birds we now see are down from the north.  Or perhaps 
they all decided to camp over at Sue's.  :-)

Three Pine Grosbeaks came to the cherry tree a few minutes before 
10:00am.  I noted the first arrival at the top of a deciduous tree, 
which caught my attention because of her lovely, long, (what's the 
term?) dovetailed tail.  I have been watching them with my binoculars 
and it looks like a juvenile male (red head but light chest with 
whiter than some wingbars), and two females of deep tone.  They do 
not look like the bird I rehab-ed, as these are deep golden but the 
slightest bit tinged toward the red, whereas she was of softer golden 
tones.  Is this more likely a variation or could they actually be 
molting toward Spring this early?

Ah, now a full-fledged, red-chested male has arrived and the females 
have gone, ostensibly to keep watch.
Wait, now they are all gone.  Twenty to twenty-five minutes seems to 
be the usual amount of time they stay in one spot to feed, often 
changing configuration.  Wise creatures.

Thanks!  I love reading the sitings!  Warmly, June in Jericho

At 09:50 AM 1/7/2008, you wrote:
>My Goldfinches disappear every winter. I think it's because my thistle
>feeder loses it's cover when the leaves come off the trees making them feel
>too exposed to come to it.
>Ron Payne
>Middlebury, VT
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Larry and Mona Rogers" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 7:34 AM
>Subject: [VTBIRD] Where have all the goldfinch gone?
>     Long time passing...
>     But seriously, we seem to have very few around the feeders this winter.
>We've got large raucous mobs of redpolls at the niger seed feeder, but no
>goldfinches.  How were goldfinch numbers doing in this year's Christmas
>     Larry and Mona