Thursday, 15 February 2007

Spot the difference

Today strong winds were thrashing about my ‘Mothers Day’ bamboo beside a feeding station - colliding with the feeders and knocking them about. This opened up an opportunity to temporarily place it nearer my window - allowing me to get closer footage of the birds. I set up my video camera and left it running positioned at one feeder. What a treat – I caught a Greenfinch and a Siskin male together for a moment!


Greenfinch larger than siskin, video 0:17 with background music, try 480p quality.


The Greenfinch, shown above on the left, was at the feeder first and was thoroughly enjoying the sunflower hearts – a favourite for most of the birds in my garden.

The Siskin male, making a brief appearance above on the right, is happier now joining in with the other birds. However I have noticed it does appear to follow the lead of the females to the feeders. The feeders with the sunflower hearts can be very busy and once a bird gets a place on a perch it is not for moving!

Spot the difference I felt the film above was a perfect opportunity to see, up close, the difference between the Greenfinch and the Siskin. It had just started raining and although the light levels were poor I felt it still worth showing. The books do say they are very similar and I can see why – especially when they are further away amongst other birds. Maybe I have actually had the Siskin visiting my garden before this week!

The first difference, I immediately noticed, was how much smaller the Siskin is. The Greenfinch looks like it has been on steroids! Next the distinctive black cap of the Siskin’s head caught my eye followed by the dark streaks on its back and belly. Finally, the difference that made me flick through my books to identify it, the bright lime-green to yellowish breast of the Siskin – which is much more noticeable when the early morning sunlight catches it. Describing the differences is just not the same as showing them - and all I do is set the stage and wait to see who appears. What a delight!

For more info on the birds shown above follow the links below:
http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greenfinch/index.asp
http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/s/siskin/index.asp

The video, shown above, was taken in my garden on February 15th 2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this video. I can finally confirm that the birds that visit my feeder are greenfinches and not siskins.