The annual Winter Finch Forecast, prepared by birders in Canada, is optimistic about an interesting variety of birds at feeders here this winter.

Common redpolls, pine siskins and purple finches are possible in the coming months. The forecast is based on tree seed crops that provide food for these birds in the winter, particularly spruce and birch.

Fewer seeds to our north means more finches coming south for food. Red-breasted nuthatches also are likely to be more common here this winter.

If you're looking to provide fodder, redpolls and siskins prefer niger thistle seeds, as do goldfinches. Purple and house finches, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals and blue jays favor black oil sunflower seeds. Suet is likely to bring woodpeckers to your yard.

Read Jim Williams' birding blog at