Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly #26

My first Cedar Waxwing :)

Well, technically, THIS particular bird wasn't my first ever seen, but close enough. During the Great Backyard Bird Count this year, I first saw these lovely birds. More than 50 of them!

People have always said how much like paintings they are. That's very true. My mom specified impressionist paintings. Again, I totally agree. They are so soft and impressionistic, that I have found it near impossible to get the camera lens totally in focus on them.

This is one image of only two that came out crisp. Like Larry of The Birder's Report, I have no idea what berries they are snacking on. If anyone knows, please post it! It's a tree that flowers yellow flowers late summer into fall that later turns into bluish-black berries. I used to hate this tree because of the messy flowers, but now that I know it attracts Cedar Waxwings, I don't hate it so much.

It doesn't help that they move like they are on meth and that the only times I have seen them it has also been raining. Is this typical? Do they only munch on berries and such when it rains?

Here's a photomerged picture I put together in photoshop from 3 pics during the GBBC. I stopped counting at 60. The trees they were in were across the street.

Apparently, they were in full force again this past Monday. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well enough to bother to check when my mom yelled there had to have been more than 100 in our backyard. I'm much better but have this awful cough that hopefully will not stick around as long as a neighbor's has, which has been a month! I'm sucking on Ricola every waking minute. Too bad I can't suck on them when I sleep. That way I wouldn't have to wake up and wake everyone else up too.

For more great bird photos, head over to Join the flock even!


Darla said...

Great shot!!

MaineBirder said...

Love the photo Red!

We get flocks of 300 or so that can wipe out the berries in a tree in no time flat. We always try to check every bird we can see, looking for a Bohemian Waxwing.

Several times this winter, we have had 150+ Cedars with 10-20 Bohemians mixed in eating from our crabapple trees.

Lynne said...

I don't see Cedar Waxwings often enough. I think they look like they put on too much of mom's make-up!

I sure hope you feel better soon. Try a swig of Nyquil before bed. You might still cough, but you'll probably sleep right through it!

Lynne said...

Yay!!! It took my comment the first time!!!


Leedra said...

I hope you feel better soon. Love the Waxwing, I agree they look so different than other birds. I recently photographed my first.

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Red said...

Thanks Darla!

Wow, John... 300+? That's like a scene out of The Birds ;) The Bohemians are even prettier, but I don't think they can be seen in our area.

Thanks Lynne. I stopped off at Longs on the way home and bought Nyquil Cough. The multi-symptom one doesn't work for me since they changed their recipe, but I haven't tried this one. I also bought more Robitussin since they seem to work, just not long enough. LOL@comments. Glad it worked for you today!

Thanks Leedra, I am feeling better, just have a nagging cough. Looks like we're kind of on the same trajectory in our bird photos :) I think that's not the first time we've shared a first.

Larry Jordan said...

Great shot of the Cedar Waxwing Red! I think the rain is a coincidence. I think they munch on berries whenever and where ever they find them.

I'm not positive but I think those are Elderberries.

Wren said...

Could the berries be pokeweed? ( Do you have that in california?

Great waxwing photos. We see more of them here than in Va, but still haven't gotten a picture I'm happy with.

Natural Moments said...

That's a great waxwing photo. I love how you captured it in the process of feeding. The berries remind me of elderberry, but the leaves don't look quite right.

Mary C said...

I wonder if I should post any of my photos. They never come out as good as yours. But now that I have my new lens the waxwings probably have "flown the coop!" ;o)

Red said...

Thanks Larry :) Well, I'll keep looking for the waxwings on sunny days as well. They've only been here three times now and it just so happened we finally hit the rainy season :) Looking up Elderberries, they are very very similar, but as Bernie pointed out, the leaves don't look right. Our mystery tree doesn't have serrated edges like the Elderberry tree has. Thanks so much for the suggestion... maybe it's a relative to it!

Thanks Wren. I'm sure we have pokeweed, but looking that plant up, I can definitely rule that out. MORE waxwings? Wow, lol, and I was suitably impressed with out numbers :)

Thanks Bernie! Funny thing about them, they never sit still, at least not in the backyard. They fly in, grab a berry or two and take off. So it was pretty much certain I would get one with a berry in the mouth :) Surprisingly most of the pics didn't, but had them with the mouth open. Thanks for the tip on the leaves... I agree with you there.

You should Mom... why not? That new lens ought to help. The old lens was pretty slow and not powered enough.

behindthebins said...

This is a fabulous picture! I have yet to capture a good shot of waxwings. I was thinking elderberries too. Hmmm, it's a tree, eh. Scratches head.....

Red said...

LOL Bev... yeah, you're right! It IS a tree!!! hee hee

Thanks so much :) I probably attempted about 300 pics of the waxwings... only a handful were somewhat crisp. They are tough!

Zhakee said...

What a treat to see such pretty birds. I always find they look sort of like paintings too, they are so vividly marked. Sorry you're feeling sick, get well soon.

Red said...

Thanks so much Zhakee! I'm feeling much better now. In fact, I just have the annoying cough now, but it's not so often.

I haven't seen them the last few days. Hope they haven't moved on too far!


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