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Happy New Year!

We have had record numbers of Pine Siskins this year, numbering easily over 100 today at the three feeder stations in the yard. While I was watching them though, I noticed in the yard round spots of earth with no snow on top. I couldn't figure out why there would be 20-30 of these around the yard about the size of a baseball until I saw a Siskin jumping up and flapping its wings like it was bathing, then falling back to earth still flapping, throwing the snow away from under it.  It then scratched a few times, and repeated the wing beating activity 10-12 times in the same spot, leaving a clear circular patch of bare ground.  I have seen birds scratch in the snow, but never something like this!  Is this a normal activity for them?  As I have only glimpsed them before I have no basis of knowledge

Thanks!

Clark Creighton
Wildwood MO

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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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