There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pine Siskin

Carduelis pinus

Small finch
Brown with heavy streaking
Edging of yellow on wings and tail
     (more prominent on males)
Slender, sharp-pointed bill

Listen to its call.

Earlier this week, I noticed a number of these birds at our feeder. Although similar in appearance to the female House Finch, they are a bit smaller and tend to be more jittery while feeding. This behaviour is the reason it has taken me until now to get a photograph of one. As luck would have it, a group of them were in our yard early this morning allowing me to get my daily picture without my usual afternoon excursion.  As a result, I was able to enjoy a relaxing afternoon reading a novel instead of traipsing around the countryside in the rain. Rainjackets and waterproof boots are fine but, call me crazy, I prefer a nice cup of tea and a good book any day.

Learn more about Pine Siskin.

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