There are a number of winter finches that are predicted to irrupt into the northeast this fall and winter due to poor cone and seed crops. Red-breasted Nuthatches, Red Crossbills, and Pine Siskins have been reported in decent numbers throughout much of the region already. I will go through the status of each winter finch in the northeast thus far. Click on each map to see the sightings for the entire country and Canada. These sightings are from August through October 2012.
Pine Grosbeaks are supposed to make a decent flight into southern Ontario, but have yet to do so. There are only a few scattered reports in the northeast.
As predicted, Purple Finches are being reported in good numbers throughout much of the northeast and as far south as North Carolina.
Red Crossills are making a nice movement south with birds being reported as far south as Georgia. There are reports in southern Delaware of flyover birds at Cape Henlopen State Park. If possible, take a recording of birds calling or singing and send them to Matt Young at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (may6 AT cornell DOT edu).
Matt wrote a nice piece on eBird discussing each Type of Red Crossbill and included spectrograms and audio files of flight calls for each type.
White-winged Crossbills are not supposed to be irruptive in the northeast this year, but birds may wander into the area. There have been scattered reports throughout the northeast with reports coming from north of New York only.
Common Redpolls are predicted to make a southerly appearance, but have yet to do so. Last winter, a decent-sized flock showed up along Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park at the end of December (2011). It may be a month or two before they start showing up in the northeast.
Always check Common Redpoll flocks for the illusive Hoary Redpoll. For confirmation, try taking photographs and detailed field notes for validity. There have been no reports in the northeast yet this fall.
I have been seeing reports of large flocks of Pine Siskins throughout the northeast over the last two weeks. They are predicted to move south, but could irrupt over much of the country due to their opportunistic feeding habits.
Evening Grosbeaks, the ABA Bird of the Year, are supposed to make an appearance into the northeast. Birds have been reported in the northeast, but mostly north of Pennsylvania. Keep and eye on your feeders for this gorgeous bird over the next few weeks and throughout the winter.
Red-breasted Nuthatches are being reported in every state except for Florida, with higher concentrations coming from north of North Carolina.
Bohemian Waxwings are expected to make a southerly flight this year, but none have showed up in the northeast, yet.