Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow buntings

Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis, subspecies insulae) are welcome and delightful winter visitors in many towns and villages in Iceland. They nest in the highlands but in the winter they form flocks, often quite large, and seek the shelter of wooded and inhabited areas. Many people feed them through the snowy months.

After the first snow of the winter my parents buy a sack of wheatberries and feed the birds daily while there is snow on the ground. They have come to be quite fearless of us, although not as fearless as of the old man who used to live next door. The birds would come and actually sit on him when he went out to feed them.

I took these photos on my father's Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera last winter. All of them are crops from larger photos with more birds - thankfully the photos one can get with DSLRs are very large so  it is possible to get decent sized crops out of them. The first one is my favourite.

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