Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pine Siskin Photo Shoot

In case you haven't heard yet, there is an "irruption" of Pine Siskins and other northern finches this year.  An irruption happens when birds that generally stay north in winter decide to move south en mass.  The reason is usually simple - no food up north.  Last year, we had Snowy Owls all over the place.  This year, its Pine Siskins and (hopefully) Crossbills.  These birds rely on the pine cone crop to supply food for the winter.  The bad news is that the pine trees didn't produce enough cones this year for the birds, so they are high-tailing it south.  You should have some at your bird feeder mixed in with Goldfinches any day now.

We have been seeing lots of Siskins on our bird walks lately. They are usually up in the trees when we see them but not this gal.  This bird was literally 3 feet away from me and Diane on Sunday chowing down on flower seeds along the trail at Cape May State Park.  She didn't flinch when the camera came out or when the flash went off or when we were talking.  She stayed right in front of us for at least 5 minutes - probably longer until some little brats came running along the trail and scared her into a nearby tree.  Sigh.

Anyway, none of these photos are cropped except for the second one.  That's how close the bird was.

 Pine Siskin

Look how freaking cute this is!  The photo even has a nice reddish background from the fall foliage.

 Pine Siskin

Then she moved to another flower that had a darker background.

 Pine Siskin
Then she posed.

Pine Siskin

I'm telling you, this bird was close.  Check out the iPhone video that Di shot of the situation.  I had to back up to the other side of the boardwalk to get the bird in focus.

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