This small, brown-streaked bird is a very “irruptive” visitor. Some years there seem to be none around, while in other winters they are very common. While they do breed here, most of the large flocks we see in the winter disperse north to nest. Siskins, like goldfinches, are attracted to Niger thistle seed in silo feeders – they are exceptional perchers and quite acrobatic in their attempts to feed. They will also take other seeds from the ground. Another good source of winter food for siskins and the small finches are birch and alder seeds. Help attract more birds and perhaps cut down on your feeding bill at the same time by planting one or more of the following: yellow, white or grey birch, and speckled or downy alders.