Clash of the Siskins

There have been some brawls at the buffet lately. I don’t ordinarily tolerate fighting in my establishment – but if pine siskins are doing the fighting, it’s about as dangerous as kittens boxing. I decided to let it play out – birds should be able to work out their differences in a civilized manner, but tempers can get the best of just about any bird when fillet is on the line…

Make way for the boss of the sock!

Make way for the boss of the sock!

I'm coming for your perch!

I’m coming for your perch!


Flying in under the radar…


Don’t even think about taking my perch!


I’ll never give up this perch!


I’m taking that perch!

ducxz huHG:

The air war is ongoing at the buffet…


Fast food…

My best impression of a cartoon bird flying...

My best impression of a cartoon bird flying…

Look out below!!

Look out below!!

This perch is mine!!

This perch is mine!!

No seeds for you, you filthy animal!

Back off – no seeds for you!

I'm coming for you...and you sunflower seeds!

I’m coming for you…and you sunflower seeds!

Hopefully a quick trip to the store for more fillet will reestablish the peace at the Stone House – maybe not…

65 thoughts on “Clash of the Siskins

  1. Pingback: Shutter Speed Part 3 – Happy Accidents | the eff stop

  2. I didn’t realize until now (I just checked) that the Pine Siskin is the most common finch in Washington state. The social pictures around the feeder are great! When I was feeding birds in our backyard, it used to always crack me up when big birds like western jays or flickers would come along and try to feed along with the little chickadees but the feeder goes flying because they’re too heavy for it so they flutter around trying to snatch a snack in midair. You must see your share of that, I imagine…..

  3. Great photos as usual. The lens is working out really well.
    I thought I may pick your brains today. Have you ever done copying of old photos?
    I have about 10,000 to copy (as part of the split). After receiving the first batch back from local photo lab I was rather disappointed. I also worked out that it would end up costing about $10,000. I thought I would look into doing it myself. I thought about buying a good quality scanner (perhaps an Epson V700). However, a photographer friend of mine suggested that it may be worthwhile to invest in a DSLR and photograph some of the photos as that produces a better result. Have you ever done this? If so, can you recommend the type of camera and lens best at that sort of work. Also, do you know anything about scanners to recommend a good scanner? Thanks

    • I just did a family photo project a couple of years ago after my father’s passing. Shooting with a camera is very tough IMO – I use a flat bed scanner – mine is just a Canon Pixma. The key to good results is to upscale the images. Photographs are different than photos printed in a magazine – they are not made of dots. This allows you to magnify them without getting a pixelated look. Print resolution is 300 dots per inch – so I scan all my family photos at 1200 – this means I can make a good print at 4X the original size. I use Photoshop to convert them to 300 DPI at the larger size and to adjust exposure.

      Photographing them is a challenge because of the surface of the photo it could be glossy so you have to worry about glare, it could be a textured matte that has highlights – for me nothing beats a scanner and it doesn’t need to be an expensive one. Epson and Canon both make great ones. Photoshop is a bit more expensive but you may have something else that will do the trick. I have them all on an external hard drive so that I have room and don’t affect the performance of my computer. To be safe I burned a set of DVDs with everything on it once I finished. A lot of the images in my memoir blog came out of this process.

      • Thanks for all these great points. It is hard getting an unbiased opinion from someone who has done it and has the photographic skills as well. I think i will go with a good scanner and see how I go. Some scanners come with some photoshop features in the scanner, although i guess it is hard to tell what ‘features’ they actually mean until you purchase and try!
        One more question, what does photoshop do ahead of a simple editing programme such as Picasso or iPhoto?
        Thanks for helping.

        • The one thing they won’t do is convert the size – I don’t know that it’s crucial unless you are wanting to print them without scaling them. I use iPhoto for some simple things and it would do basic things pretty well. If the photos are very old you can make much more specific changes in Photoshop or PS Elements. If the photos are in pretty good shape those simpler programs should be fine. I would scan at higher resolution though – scanning that many photos it makes sense to do it the best way possible. I have never used the internal corrections in a scanner – so I’m not sure how those would work.

  4. Fantastic shots, Lorri.
    You’ve captured the action so well I almost feel as though I’m watching with you. Looks like its sunny over in your woods. Does this mean Spring is there permanently?

    • Thanks Vicky, these were fun, all but one shot in the course of about 10 minutes. It is rainy today and there is a frost warning again. It’s a mixed bag, but I’m ok with it as long as there is no more snow.

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  6. I love these and now it makes me want to put my flying sparrow animation up (if I haven’t already).

    Birds have such distinctive personalities. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I don’t thinkI have seen your sparrow animation. I do love all their personalities, sometimes it is the smallest and the most common that surprise me the most with their antics.

      • Yes. ๐Ÿ™‚ And have you noticed how ‘big’ the voices are of the littlest birds. My husband was telling me how much a tiny wren was yelling in a tree in our front garden the other day.

        Post with the animation – and some other stuff – is up in my blog now.

  7. I’ve been watching my birds fight over the suet, so I can relate. ๐Ÿ™‚ They are also busy building nests, so they have cleaned out my flower pots of old weeds and stuff. It’s fun to watch! Your pics are outstanding as usual.

  8. Wonderful photos, I can only imagine what the soundtrack was like while you were photographing the air show.

  9. I LOVE that last photo! The grackles are still backyard bullies running my other birds off – but saw the orchard oriole this morning and had to fill the hummingbird feeder again – so not too bad all in all- Enjoy this gorgeous day! K

    • Thanks Kathleen – I still haven’t seen an oriole, but I do have hummers. Those siskins were cracking me up yesterday – they chatter before they feed. It’s like a chorus.

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