Tag Archives: Hettusöngvari

Four Blackcaps

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Hettusöngvari – Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla

Blackcaps are annual guests and this autumn they appeared here on October 28. First there were two of them but today they are four, three males and one female bird. The male has a black cap and the female has a brown one.

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They are eating small berries from schrubs and apples that we fix on branches of trees or lay out on the ground.

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Still enough berrries

Hettusöngvari - Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Hettusöngvari – Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla

The winter has been mild so far. The Blackcap is here again after having been away from some time. There are still enough berries on trees and shrubs so Blackcaps, along with other small birds and vagrants, are not as dependent on the food put out form them. At least not yet. The mild weather increases their chances of surviving the winter.

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The first Blackcap

Hettusöngvari – Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Hettusöngvari – Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla

We spotted this season’s first Blackcap, a male, in the garden today. Blackcaps are annual vagrants and the first ones are usually seen in the end of October but most of them come in the first week of November. Blackcaps have sometimes stayed in the garden the whole winter. How well they cope depends on how mild the winter is. They mostly eat berries from shrubs and the apples that we put out. They also like fat and compete with the other birds for food.

Eating an apple
Eating an apple

This Blackcap was in our garden in Selfoss today.

Blackcaps claiming territory

There are a lot of Blackcaps in Iceland now. In the last couple of days we have had 4 -5 of both genders staying in the garden. They claim territories and therefore there has been a battle between them. It seems that one of them has taken ownership in the garden south of the house and another north of the house.

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The Blackcaps like apples and pears a lot and are in constant competition with Thrushes and Starlings for these delicacies .

Blackcaps are vagrants in Iceland and have in a few instances managed to survive through the winter here in the garden. They have the most chance of surviving when the winters are mild. We’ll see what happens this winter.

This photo was taken yesterday, November 16, of a male Blackcap.

Three Blackcaps now

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Another female Blackcap has now joined the pair from yesterday (see previous post). The three of them are feeding in the garden. Here is the male eating an apple that I placed on a twig. The girls are a bit shy and not at all fond of the camera.

– Stay tuned and see if I manage to get a good photo of them.

Blackcap

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This male Blackcap visited my garden this morning. He was not shy when I came along with my camera. But it was difficult to get close to the female who accompanied him.  The Blackcap is a vagrant in Iceland but an annual guest in my garden and sometimes I have managed to keep a few of them alive through the whole winter.

– Stay tuned for updates on this couple.