Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blackcap, Sylvia atriciapilla

Female Blackcap, Syvia articiapilla. The Blackcap is seen in 45% of Irish gardens, according to the Birdwatch Ireland-GardenBird Survey (2008/2009)

The East and North Eastern winds have brought cold weather with them again. Spring had just started to surface, when we have start wearing the extra layer again, when we venture out to the shop. I was used to January/February being the cold months (on the continent it would be cold from late November,) but when the temperatures plummeted in December, we were all in shock at first.
we had three new species this winter; The Redwing, Turdus pilaris, The Meadow Pipit, Anthus pratensis, and now a female Blackcap, Sylvia atriciapilla, has joined the others.
The Blackcap is a migrant from Africa. There is however, a breeding population in Europe, and these "winter-Blackcaps" in countries like Ireland are perhaps the result from these resident European birds.
It being February, it would still be early for any migrants to have arrived from Africa, I would think.
Another option is that she came from the continent, escaping the extreme cold winter there.
Wherever she came from, she has made her home in the garden already. (she arrived only yesterday)
The only problem being that she is too bossy towards the other birds. We have other bullies in the garden; House Sparrows, Chaffinches, Rooks, Great Tits, (very much dominating) Dunnocks, Wagtails, Blackbirds, Turdus merula, and Song Thrushes, Turdus philomelos,and now this Madam Blackcap, Sylvia atriciapilla

The Dunnock, Aegithalos caudatus, which has fought off Robins, House Sparrows and Finches, appeared very cautious with this new visitor.

Even the little Coal Tits, Parus ater, and the Blue Tits, Parus caeruleus, are not spared by her bossy antics. The problem arises that these little one's feed on the suet cake in the coconut shells, something which she doesn't want to feed on at all. yet she chases every winged creature from the area. Every airspace seems to be hers.

I still keep looking about the place, to see if there are any male Blackcaps around.

Coal Tit, Parus ater

Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus


  1. nice pics - love Mrs Blackcap!!

  2. Gorgeous photos of Mrs Blackcap! We only had 1 male Blackcap visit us for just 2 days during the winter, not seen him since!
    I'm surprised the Robin hasn't chased yours off yet?

  3. Pete, good to see you.

    Hi, Sharon, my Robins try; don't worry, and so do the Sparrows; but knows how to rule the garden, I must give her credit for that.

    We'll see what happens when the weather warms. (if!)


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