Hand Feeding Pine Siskins

by John Briggs on November 8, 2010

in Bird Photographs, Bird Photography Weekly, Birding Videos, Blog, Maine Birds

Pine Siskin - Bath, Maine

Pine Siskin - Bath, Maine | Click thumbnail for larger view

It was a cold and dreary Sunday afternoon so Sharon and I decided to stay home,  make homemade lasagna and watch Patriots football. After the game, we watched Robin Hood (the version with Russell Crowe) on blu-ray which I must say is an awesome flick.

During the football game, we noticed Pine Siskins coming to our feeding stations. This is not unusual in itself, but over 100 of them is very unusual. Sharon noticed the tray feeder had little food in it so she went out to put some seed in the tray.

As the Patriots were playing like a high school football team, I looked outside to see how Sharon was doing. Imagine my surprise when I saw her with Pine Siskins standing on her hands enjoying a treat of sunflower hearts. I made a mad scramble for the camera to capture this awesome event.

Sharon hand feeding Pine Siskins

Sharon hand feeding Pine Siskins | Click thumbnail for larger view

I struggled to get a good exposure through the living room window due to late afternoon light, cloudy skies and rainfall. I went into the bedroom, quietly lowered the upper window sash and slowly peaked out with the camera. This would have to do because I didn’t want to risk going outside and scaring the birds away.

There were times that Sharon had 3 to 4 birds on each hand. They landed on her arms, on her head and on her shoulders. The Pine Siskins were on the ground at her feet, in the tray feeder near her head and on the arms of the feeder pole above her. Light was waning fast so I captured as many photos and videos as I could.

Sad to say, a lot of the photos and a few videos were awful but I managed to squeak out a few half decent captures. I will admit that I’m not good at taking photos in low light situations. Shooting at such a slow shutter speed, coupled with any movement what-so-ever by the subject or myself makes for awful captures.

It wasn’t long until the birds took off to roost for the night. Sharon was ecstatic and I am sure she will never forget being in the midst of so many birds. I only wish there was more light to work with and that I had more captures to show for it. Hopefully, the Siskies will return another day when the light is bright and they are willing to eat from her hands once again.

Dimension: 560×480 | Video bit rate: 1000Kbps | File Size: 32.6mb
Playback: Click Play Button | Broadband Connection Recommended
Video: Hand feeding Pine Siskins | ©2010 John Briggs Photography
Watch in full-sized HD at YouTube by clicking video screen after playback begins.

Happy birding!



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