Circle Of Unity's "Birds Of North West" Collection
"Birds of North-West" by Circle Of Unity is the collection of products including metal enamel pin badges and socks with rare birds inhabiting the North-West region of Russia.
Eurasian blue tit
Eurasian blue tits, usually resident and non-migratory birds, are widespread and a common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and western Asia in deciduous or mixed woodlands with a high proportion of oak. They usually nest in tree holes, although they easily adapt to nest boxes where necessary.
Their main rival for nests and in the search for food is the larger great tit. The Eurasian blue tit prefers insects and spiders for its diet. Outside the breeding season, they also eat seeds and other vegetable-based foods. The birds are famed for their skill, as they can cling to the outermost branches and hang upside down when looking for food.
Treecreepers measure from 12 to 18 centimetres in length. Their bills are gently down-curved and rather long, used for probing bark for insects and spiders. They often climb up tree trunks in a helical path, hopping with their feet together; their toes are long and tipped with strongly curved claws for gripping.
The longer tails of the Certhia treecreepers are stiffened to use as a prop while climbing, but those of the spotted creeper are shorter and not stiffened. Their songs and calls are thin and high-pitched.
Crossbills are characterized by the mandibles crossing at their tips, which gives the group its English name.
Using their crossed mandibles for leverage, crossbills are able to efficiently separate the scales of conifer cones and extract the seeds on which they feed. Adult males tend to be red or orange in colour, and females green or yellow, but there is much variation.
The breeding habitat is coniferous forests, usually near water. The pair build a lined cup-shaped nest in a tree or bush, often close to the trunk. The clutch of 3–7 eggs is incubated by the female alone for 13–14 days to hatching.
The chicks are altricial and naked, and are fed by both parents, initially mostly with insects, but thereafter mainly fruit. They fledge about 14–16 days after leaving the egg. Many birds desert their nesting range in winter and migrate farther south. In some years, large numbers of Bohemian waxwings irrupt well beyond their normal winter range in search of the fruit that makes up most of their diet.
Great spotted woodpecker
The great spotted woodpecker occurs in all types of woodlands and is catholic in its diet, being capable of extracting seeds from pine cones, insect larvae from inside trees or eggs and chicks of other birds from their nests. It breeds in holes excavated in living or dead trees, unlined apart from wood chips.
The typical clutch is four to six glossy white eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs, feed the chicks and keep the nest clean. When the young fledge they are fed by the adults for about ten days, each parent taking responsibility for feeding part of the brood.
Pygmy Owls are most active between dawn and dusk. They are very secretive and tend to perch and roost in thickets where it is safe from predators. At times, one will sit atop the highest spire of a tree. At rest, a Northern Pygmy Owl sits with its tail cocked away from vertical, and often twitches its tail when excited.
Flight is relatively noisy for an owl, and resembles a shrike, with rapid wing beats and rounded wing tips. Despite their small size, Pygmy Owls are quite fierce, and will attack prey or drive off intruders several times their own size.
The bullfinch is a bulky bull-headed bird. The upper parts are grey; the flight feathers and short thick bill are black; as are the cap and face in adults (they are greyish-brown in juveniles), and the white rump and wing bars are striking in flight.
The adult male has red underparts, but females and young birds have grey-buff underparts. It moulths between July and October, but males do not have the duller autumn plumage that is typical of some other finches. The song of this unobtrusive bird contains fluted whistles, and is often described as 'mournful'.
The distinctive orange breast of both sexes contributed to the European robin's original name of redbreast (orange as the name of a colour was unknown in English until the sixteenth century, by which time the fruit of that name had been introduced). In the fifteenth century, when it became popular to give human names to familiar species, the bird came to be known as robin redbreast, which was eventually shortened to robin.
As a given name, Robin was originally a diminutive of Robert. Other older English names for the bird include ruddock and robinet. In American literature of the late 19th century, this robin was frequently called the English robin. Dutch roodborstje and French rouge-gorge both refer to the distinctively coloured front.
Long Tail Tit
The long-tailed tit is easily recognisable with its distinctive colouring, a tail that is bigger than its body, and undulating flight. Gregarious and noisy residents, long-tailed tits are most usually noticed in small, excitable flocks of about 20 birds.
Like most tits, they rove the woods and hedgerows, but are also seen on heaths and commons with suitable bushes.