Something Wild: Winter Finch Forecast

Each year, bird enthusiasts across North America eagerly await the Winter Finch Forecast. Published every fall since 1999, the Winter Finch Forecast predicts when and where, and even IF fan-favorite finches like Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls will grace our backyard bird-feeders, or make an appearance on a brisk mid-winter hike. It’s a big deal for birders. So much so that enthusiastic birders have been known to base winter birding plans on this forecast, even driving hundreds of miles to spots deemed favorable for seeing White-winged Crossbills or Pine Grosbeaks. But who makes these predictions, and what are these finch forecasts based on? Enter Tyler Hoar, a freelance biologist and ecologist from Oshawa, Ontario. He’s recently taken the reins in predicting finch winter migration patterns from the legendary Ron Pittaway -- who started this citizen science project some 20 years ago. According to Tyler; "Ron set up this network, getting various birders, naturalists , foresters,

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