Tag Archives: black and white head

Pine Siskin

Introducing the Pine Siskin

This is the second time I have laid eyes on a Pine Siskin. Once at lake Mineral Wells a few weeks ago. Now my feeders overflow-ith with this winter finch. Carduelis being their genus lumps them in with the Lesser and American Goldfinch. They run shorter than the 6″ House Finch and slightly larger than a Lesser. Brown streaked overall with varying amounts of yellow in the wing. My fingers are crossed that I get my Canon on a Lesser Goldfinch since they are known to flock together at times.

Pine Siskin waiting turn
Pine Siskin waiting turn
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 13 January, 2013
  • Focal length: 260mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

A Red-breasted Nuthatch is doing his best to feed with them; he is not having much luck. I have had a lot of fun photographing the Nuthatch in past months.

Red-breasted Nuthatch 2013
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2013
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 13 January, 2013
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

The Pine Siskin are not shy. I walk to within 20 feet of the feeder and continued normal yard activities. They were very reluctant to give up their respective feeder spots and were quickly replaced each time one did move.

Two held the tube feeder hostage. Four to five were on the Finch feeder at all times. This happened during the early afternoon. Daytime city birds run complete different schedules than my lake and country birds.

Pine Siskin waiting turns
Pine Siskin waiting turns
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 13 January, 2013
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s

Carolina Chickadee

Chickadees of Mineral Wells State Park

It looks like Chickadees are the same every where you go. By that, I mean that every where I see a Chickadee… they are always traveling with Titmice. My common little black and white headed feeder bird acts and behaves the same as the ones in Mineral Wells State Park. Also strange that a Chickadee would hang out with another bird who tries to bully him/her. Hmmm… sounds like the human Chickadee species has something in common with the bird world. Anyway, The Chickadee still tug my strings when I see them. Exploration is a way of life and they live by it. Brave little birds.

Carolina Chickadee Lookout
Carolina Chickadee Lookout
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 8 December, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s

Nuthatch on the Feeder

Red-Breasted Nuthatch Gallery

Give us the photos – Click here if you would like the story. Palo Pinto county is experiencing an invasion year for these feisty little birds. It happens once every five years or so according to my birding buddy over at Texas Bird Images. One note for this gallery post – The Red-Breasted Nuthatch is one of the most acrobatic little birds that I have seen in the Mineral Wells, Texas area. They are placed right up there with the Chickadee. Both birds have that white and black head and appear very close in size and look. That red breast is a very distinguishable difference. Also, one might note the placement of the head bands are in completely different areas.

CLICK TO ENLARGE:

Red-Breasted Nuthatch on the feeder
Red-Breasted Nuthatch on the feeder
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 2 December, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee - Comparison shot
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 2 December, 2012
  • Focal length: 220mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

Nuthatch - Back to where I started

Red-Breasted Nuthatch – first sighting.

Time for additional feeders. After watching three months of Titmice, Chickadees, Robins, Mockingbirds, Sparrows and Dove – I decided to add two new feeders. The success was nearly immediate. Obviously, credit will traverse over to the time of year, but some of it goes to the new feeders. Today, I have a change in bird scenery that is spending time “hanging out.” Most notably, the Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Lesser Goldfinch and a House Finch. What an amazingly cool little bird the Nuthatch turned out to be. Acrobatic in every sense of the word. This one spent the majority of his time facing every direction but up, more on that in a few seconds. He travels with approx five Tufted-Tits and a Carolina Chickadee. Man, he looks like a Chickadee at first glance. The body coloring and striping on his head differentiate them quickly. The Red-Breasted Nuthatch is 4 1/2″ of pure amusement. Small fluke that this happened at all, they only arrive once every five years or so.

I am lazing about the home in Mineral Wells, Texas convalescing from a surgery and my daily regime is spent watching the feeder or cleaning something. My shop is off-limits because fresh wounds and saw dust don’t mix. Two days ago, I caught a couple of quick shots and identified my first Nuthatch. He did not stay around long. So, I buy new feeders and solid Sunflower seeds. Today, this guy decided to stick around as well as a few others. The Tube Feeders are a hit. So is the Finch feed.

First Red-Breasted Nuthatch
My first Nuthatch
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 28 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

The story – A Red-Breasted Nuthatch flops lands and hangs upside down on the mixed seed feeder a couple of days ago. No idea what he is so I started checking. That mask (Chickadee like) and coloring made him an easy identification. This is my second time in seeing this bird but I now have it photo documented and checked off. Today, he arrives and puts on an acrobatic show. Of the 20 odd shots that I took of him in the tree, he was upside down or sideways in 16 of them. As-in upside down underneath the branch of the tree.

Nuthatch out on a limb
Nuthatch out on a limb
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 28 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s

Today he lands on the new feeder. Looks around. Hops to the pole and eyes the mixed seed feeder. Flies back up to the tube full of black oil sunflower seed and over the next ten minutes, he makes 30 pit stops travelling to and fro. Tree, feeder, tree, feeder. Fan of the tube feeder and sunflowers. That explains all the waste at the mixed seed feeder from two day earlier. Throwing out all the corn. Check out the photo – if you watch, a bird will DEMONSTRATE what he likes. I am hoping the new feeder will save the mixed seed and all the mess.

Picking favorites
Picking favorites

– Talk about strange — I baked a cake.

Black_Capped_Chickadee

The Chickadee of Palo Pinto

The Chickadee is one of my favorite feeder birds. Curious and athletic, this tiny bird is a wonder to watch.

Birding Chickadees – Depending on the feed that week, I have to wade through Sparrows and Tufted Titmice prior to receiving a visit from this feathery bird friend. Their twittering is very distinct once you learn it. Wait quietly and once the feeder clears, the Chickadee will arrive.

In my area, the Chickadee flocks with a small group of Titmice. There is a group of 6 to 8 Tits that hit my yard twice a day and they are travelling with one chickadee. They really are a playful sort of bird. This bird has a round head, tiny body, a black cap and bib, white cheeks, gray back, and wings. They are small birds with a very unique look making them easily identifiable. Just look for the two tone black and white head. Its habit of investigating feeders make it an early discovery for many birders in my area. This was true for me. The bird is very active and does not sit still for long so be on the lookout.

Side note: There are several birders in my area that refer to these as Black-Capped Chickadees, if you refer to the bird maps, you will see that in Palo Pinto County and Mineral Wells, Texas, these are indeed Carolina Chickadees.

Time to upload photos and move along. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.