Little is known about the stopover biology of Spinus pinus (Pine Siskin) and other Fringillid birds during their irruptive movements into the US from boreal Canada. Here, we report on the passage timing, energetic condition, and age distribution of 402 Pine Siskins that we captured during autumn stopovers in New Jersey in the irruption year of 2012. Pine Siskins passed through our study site for ∼3 weeks and peaked in abundance between 9 and 12 October. More birds were juveniles than adults (54% v. 46%), although the difference was not significant. Juveniles were heavier than adults, but fat scores did not differ by age. Neither age group appeared to gain significant mass during the stopover. We encourage migration banding stations like ours that experience irruptions to report the information they collect and help improve our understanding of the migration biology and behavior of irruptive species.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2