Thursday, 14 March 2013

Kristiansand



Kristiansand is a city, municipality and the county capital of Vest-Agder county in Southern Norway. Kristiansand municipality is the 5th largest in Norway with a population of 82,562 as of 1 April 2011. The Kristiansand urban area, entirely located in the municipality, had a population of 67,547 on 1 January 2009, and is thus the 8th largest urban area in Norway. In addition, the Statistics Norway counts that there are 4 other densely populated areas in the municipality: Skålevik with a population of 3,026, Strai with a population of 1,636, Justvik with a population of 1,803 and Tveit with a population of 1,396 citizens.

The city was named after its founder King Christian IV in 1641. The last element sand refers to the sandy headland the city was built on. The name was written "Christian(s) sand" until 1877 – then, according to an official spelling reform; the form was changed to "Kristianssand". The name was again changed to its present form Kristiansand in 1889. In 2012, the city's mayor, Arvid Grundekjøn, proposed that the city be renamed Christianssand, arguing that "Kristiansand" is grammatically meaningless and that Christianssand stands for tradition.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pine Siskin


Separation from European Siskin

Pine Siskin in its typical morph is a drab bird, whereas European Siskin, in many plumages, is much brighter. Adult male European Siskins are bright green and yellow with a black cap, and an unstreaked throat and breast; Pine Siskin does not have a corresponding bright plumage. Adult female European Siskins also usually have green and yellow plumage tones: for example, yellow in the supercilium and on the sides of the breast, green tones in the mantle and yellow in the rump. Adult Pine Siskins of the typical morph do not have green and yellow tones, although juveniles can have a yellowish-buff wash on their underparts and buff-toned wingbars, for a short period prior to their autumn migration. The ground colour of the underparts of European Siskin is normally pure white, whereas on Pine Siskin it is usually a dirtier colour.

 In female and juvenile European Siskin, the centre of the belly and lower breast are often largely or entirely unstreaked, whereas in most Pine Siskins the streaking extends across the whole of the underparts. The wingbars of European Siskin are broad and yellow (with the tips white) whereas they are normally narrower and buffish-white in Pine Siskin, contrasting with the bright yellow flash at the base of the primaries. Pine Siskins have a longer bill, usually with a straight culmen, compare with a short bill in European Siskin, with a decurved culmen. There is a green morph of Pine Siskin, closer in appearance to European Siskin; these birds make up only 1% of the population. These are closer in appearance to female European Siskin, but differ in that they have a yellow-wash on the undertail-coverts (white on European Siskin), no yellow in the supercilium, reduced underparts streaking, and much yellow at the base of the tail and remiges; there may also be a difference in the extent of yellow in the underparts but this needs further study.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Scarlet Ibis

This species is very closely related to the American White Ibis and is sometimes considered conspecific with it. While the species may have occurred as a natural vagrant in southern Florida in the late 19th century, all recent reports of the species in North America have been of introduced or escaped birds. Eggs from Trinidad were placed in White Ibis nests in Hialeah Park in 1962, and the resulting population hybridised with the native ibis, producing "pink ibises" that are still occasionally seen.