Whether or not Winter 2008-2009 is “officially” an invasion year for winter finches can be left to the experts. But northern Illinois has been inundated with beautiful birds from the far north.
Pine Siskins have been so numerous the resident House Sparrows have been delegated to the front bushes, forbidden from the backyard.
Common Redpolls are outnumbering Dark-eyed Juncos nearly 3:1 and there have been reports of Hoary Redpolls throughout the Chicagoland area. (We have yet to find any).
Crossbills seem to be everywhere, the Reds being much more camera shy than the White-wingeds.
Thus far, this has been an excellent winter for birding. Now if we can just get an Evening Grosbeak…