Count the siskins! Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus), which breed in northern coniferous and mixed forests, form nomadic flocks in winter, searching out food sources. Abundance and presence at birdfeeders varies from year to year. This year there was a moderate irruption. Hormonal changes trigger singing and brighter breeding (alternate) plumage. Unlike most other northern species, siskins sometimes attempt to breed in early spring while still at their wintering sites before returning to their typical breeding grounds.