Menagerie Monday: Figuratively Speaking

One of the trees that we acquired when we bought our place here in Auckland three years ago was a fig. Frankly, I have had many chances to sample (candied) figs in my younger days, and I must admit that I cannot remember ever having been impressed. However, I try to be always open to (most) new opportunities, and I had never sampled a fresh fig right off the tree until we moved here. I can’t say that it matches other fruits in our little orchard, but it’s a little better than I expected. On the other hand, there are birds that are very fond of them, among which are the wonderful silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). They are very small, with a maximum length of about 12 cm (4.7 inches), and very active and difficult to catch with a camera. As our figs mature, however, they are increasingly attracted to them, and they provided me with a few minutes of opportunity yesterday. Aren’t they lovely? (See also my last post from two years ago featuring them, here.)

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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24 Responses to Menagerie Monday: Figuratively Speaking

  1. zannyro says:

    You did a great job of capturing images of them! What a beautiful little bird.

  2. Let’s say you fig-ured out how to photograph these birds.

  3. cindy knoke says:

    Beauties & wonderful captures!

  4. shoreacres says:

    Here, it’s the mockingbirds that compete for the figs. It looks like you have a different species of fig as well as different birds; our Texas ‘sugar figs’ are like candy, and they’re delicious. There’s a picking farm near me that has about two dozen trees, and fig season’s a highlight of the summer. The mockingbirds are nice, but it would be fun to see these silvereyes among them.

    • krikitarts says:

      Here, it’s usually the sparrows, the mynahs, and the blackbirds that compete. But when these little guys are on a roll, their bravado kicks in and they are able to hold their own.

  5. Well the figs seem to be to the birds’ taste. Nice photos!

  6. Ms. Liz says:

    In my very early years at Waiuku we had a big fig tree that had delicious fruit! As far as I recall you must wait until the fruit are really ripe for them to have that good taste (in which case I imagine you’d have to net your tree from your thieving friends the silvereyes).

  7. Vicki says:

    Great shots of the Silvereyes (and I know myself how hard it is to catch a Silvereye long enough to make an image). I had a problem getting the shutter speed fast enough as they were usually in the deep shady foliage of large trees here.

    They’re near as swift-moving as the Superb Fairy-wrens on my balcony.

    Figs are expensive to buy here in Melbourne so you’re lucky to have a tree. Perhaps you’d better develop a taste for them since they’re free.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Vicki, I know that you know how hard they are to catch. These two were the result of 80 tries, shooting at 8 frames per second. My old 100-300 lens seems to be still up to the challenge, and I don’t know what I’d do without it in a scene like this.

  8. bluebrightly says:

    Any tree that attracts those little guys is a good tree. :-)

  9. I guess you could say that you give a fig for your silvereyes.

  10. Adrian Lewis says:

    Ah yes, Zosterops, old friends from Kenya, we had three species there, and called them White Eyes – wonderful! :)

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