These birds are pretty amazing. They're currently in their non-breeding plumage, which I actually find more attractive than their breeding outfit. Steve said they remind him of budgies - they do seem rather comical with those faces, I suppose. From watching them for a couple of hours, they seem to be quite intent on eating as many seeds as possible, and only in the safety of the flock. There were some Cooper's hawks in the area, so I suppose this safety in numbers thing probably is a good defense strategy.