Monday, August 18, 2008

ODD SHOT MONDAY - SISKIN IN HAND



When in doubt get the birdies out!

This is one of those mad little birdies who fly into our patio window, who I sit with, or they sit on me until they are well and fly off. Not happened for a while though. This is one from the series I shot earlier in the year. Again something else was planned for odd shots, but I got a little sidetracked with the bird shots and well can't resist these cuties.

Here's the birdy science thingy stuff. I

The Eurasian Siskin, or just European Siskin in Europe, Carduelis spinus, is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. The siskin is also known as the aberdevine in Europe.

This bird breeds across northern temperate Europe and into Russia. There is a separate population in eastern Asia. It is partially resident, but the northern breeders migrate further south in Europe in the winter. The eastern Asian birds winter in China or further south. In some years there are large eruptions into the wintering range, when the preferred food of alder or birch seed fails. This species will form large flocks outside the breeding season, often mixed with redpolls.

Coniferous woodland, especially Spruce, is favoured for breeding. It builds its nest in a tree, laying 2-6 eggs. The British range of this once local breeder has expanded greatly due to commercial conifer plantations.

The food is mainly seeds, as above, and, in the breeding season, insects. This small siskin is an acrobatic feeder, often hanging upside-down like a tit. It will visit garden bird feeding stations.

The Siskin is a small short-tailed bird, 11.5-12cm in length. The upper parts are greyish green and the under parts grey-streaked white. Its wings are black with a conspicuous yellow wing bar, and the tail is black with yellow sides. The male has a mainly yellow face and breast, with a neat black cap. Female and young birds have a greyish green head and no cap. The song of this bird is a pleasant mix of twitters and trills.

There is a similar and closely related North America counterpart, the Pine Siskin, Carduelis pinus.

This again was a one handed shot with a portrait lens on a portrait setting. Not as close in as a macro lens, but perfect when you only have on free hand and a siskin has laid claim to another. No I am not a manx witch, one of the Manx Fairy folk or have any other magical bird attracting powers. No the bird didn't poop, but his tiny claws did tickle a bit. Oh he also said can we call him George, not just the siskin. Ok George.

Please if you have no sense of the absurd, humour or think photography is just about who can say the cleverest comment, step away from the blog. George said that not me!

Want to join Odd Shots Monday?

Then see KATNEY

49 comments:

two said...

Great shot. Love the birds!

david mcmahon said...

Not familiar with the siskin - but your swans shot from yesterday is great.

brad, boston said...

Not like our one.

How'd you get such a funky shot! Brad jnr is going to go nuts for this one.

Bless you.

Virginia said...

I can't imagine getting this shot with one hand. Amazing. The bird would have been long gone with me fumbling all around. He's a cute little guy.

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" isn't going to comment today. He's sick of getting into smack downs with his Editor....

Blue said...

I just adore seeing these shots.
It's amazing the little things can navitage across Europe, but not your windows!

Island Rambles Blog said...

I loved this post on the little siskin...really good photo also...Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog post for Camera Critters. I really appreciate that you visited my blog and I hope you will come back and see the mountains today. cheers.

Olivier said...

je sais pas comment tu fais, moi quand je m'approche d'un oiseau, il s'enfuit, mais cela doit-être à cause de ma barbe ;o)

I do not know how you do me when I m'approche a bird, he fled, but it must be because of my beard ;o)

Greyscale Territory said...

Such a beautiful shot of the little one! I do not know the bird at all, but it does look finch-like!

Loved your information too!

Greyscale Territory said...

Such a beautiful shot of the little one! I do not know the bird at all, but it does look finch-like!

Loved your information too!

Saretta said...

How nice to have birds come sit on you...it seems like a kind of blessing almost! We get geckos, wasps and ants in my house... Beautiful photo!

Neorelix said...

Last time I tried to get a bird to sit on my hand I got slapped ;p

Seriously, gorgeous shot - and again with the swans.

JM said...

Amazing the bird flying to your hand! After checking siskin translation to portuguese, I realize we do have them here too :-)

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Doesn't look like a finch.

Jim said...

Its so small. I love the coloring.

Aileni said...

Nice to have a really close look at the bird, though the reasonis rather traumatic.

Kitty said...

aw, poor thing!
I'm glad he recovered from his little accident.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Another great shot! Odd tat you can hold it in one hand and take the photo with the other, though. You've got talent, girl!

B. Roan said...

This is only odd because George sat there long enough for you to snap the shot. Fantastic outcome!

Blognote said...

George is lovely and thank you for the comments as well, Babooska!!

Boise Diva said...

THWOK! That's what it sounds like when the birds hit the window. Interesting that around my place, they rarely hit a window in the summer, but in the winter, it happens at least once a week. Most birds survive - bigger birds usually don't.

M.Benaut said...

Howdy Babooshka,

Just a quickie to say, I love your photos and your attitude, - sometimes a dangerous word.
I would love to pop-in to your blog more regularly, for which I apologize sincerely.
As life has been a bit frantic of late, I will yell out in your direction on Friday from Liverpool; my first trip, ever, to that small island to the right of you.
If you hear a strange aussie accent wafting across the water, it will be me, yelling Howdy !!... loudly.

See you again in October.... and, happy photo-blogging.

Daryl said...

So sweet ...


:-Daryl

Chuckeroon said...

B, this Siskin has won a well deserved following.

I have little time to leave comments anywhere (it's hard enough doing a daily photo that's engaging enough).

But....Ramsey DP shows some good work well worth spending a little time appreciating the technique and subject. "How to make the best of a tiny location?"

Lilli & Nevada said...

Oh that is adorable little fellow

Best blogs. said...

I don't blog I browse. Added to my bookmarks. Smashing blog.

Paulie said...

Looks like a ball of feathers!

Gattina said...

That happens here too and then I run out to safe the little birdie from my cats !

dot said...

He's a cute one for sure! Pretty color.
Mine is HERE

mannanan said...

Love all your photos and tips which are really helpful but what I really find odd about this shot and the others you've done about siskins is that, we, in all probability only live a couple of hundred yards away from each other yet I've never seen one of these in my garden. Do you entice them with a certain bird seed. I hacve a bird feeder which attracts sparrows and of course we have the odd gull and jackday but that's about it. Keep up the brill work of promoting this great town warts and all as that is howw it is and why I love it so much....Thanks

Chrisss said...

Love this photo. The information was great too.

John said...

Amazing capture and interesting info too.

babooshka said...

Mannanan,

It took us about a 4 to 6 weeks to attract them.

Siskins - white sunflower seeds
Goldfinches - above and niger seeds.
Chaffinch - anything
Blue/Great tits - peanuts
Greenfinch - black sunflower seeds and peanuts.
blackbirds - apples.
Magpies/crows/collared dove - anything

This are our most frequent. We do get passing gulls, magpies, grey wagtail,tree sparrows, sparrows.

It does take a while but we have 4 feeders on poles, water dish and always throw suitable scraps out.

The siskins have risen in numbers since we came and they really can eat you out of house and home.

Eki Akhwan said...

I don't blame you for being sidetracked by the picture of this wonderful creature. So cute and tame ... I don't any birds (except pigeons/dove) would be this friendly where I live. They are scared of humans because many people have treated them badly.

Luke Wiley said...

What a nice bird. beautiful!

Dragonstar said...

I love your shots of mad birds. The lengths to which some people go to get their faces on camera!

mirage2g said...

I am not sure id this is the same as our small birds but he/ surely is a friendly one unlike those that I see, they're snobs lol...

Great portrait of the bird, showing the shy side ;-) Hve a nice week ahead!

southshieldsdailyphoto said...

How on earth do you get them to sit for a portrait?

I'm just popping by to say hello from South Shields Daily Photo.

As well as photography I'm also interested in learning how to produce digital artwork,

that's why I have started South Shields Pixels, you may be interested in having a quick look.

Gretchen said...

What a beautiful shot! Congrats on getting it.

Neva said...

I am not familiar with the siskin but I also like the swans!

Kelly said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the information about what each bird prefers!

GiuCe said...

Sweet shot!!! it's a beautiful bird too :)

Bergson said...

i have also beard but i like birds ;-)

Becky said...

What a beautiful bird! You're fortunate you've gotten the opportunity to observe them up close and hold them.

Rambling Woods said...

I don't know if you will get this but you can help prevent bird strikes with something to make it look less like a path. I use mylar windsocks, you could try some ribbon, leaving the window less than clean. Lowering a blind or curtain. I also have some first aid on my blog for window strikes..

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Very cute. Love birdies.

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