Monday, May 26, 2014

Flock Party

Every year the Cedar Waxwings travel to eat from the yamazakura cherry tree that grows in my front yard...


Cedar Waxwings are largely fruit eaters and migratory, flying from ripened tree to ripened tree in fairly large flocks.  

At least a hundred or more birds come to feed on my tree, taking about two or three days to strip the tree of its tiny fruit.


With the sun shining, the skies clear and the temperatures mild, it's been a gorgeous holiday weekend. 

The windows have been open and we are busily working to prepare our house for Jack's graduation party next Sunday.

While I was cleaning the spare bedroom for Jim's Mom and brother to visit, I heard the trilling chorus of the Cedar Waxwings and I knew they were here.

Their call is a very high-pitched, shrill whistle and it's easy to miss if you don't know to listen for it.


The Cedar Waxwings are sleek and graceful in appearance and get their name from the waxed appearance of their wings.

Except for their high-pitched trill, they are fairly quiet as they flit around in and among the branches to harvest their meal.


They tend to stay high in the tree canopy and underneath the leaves so catching them with a camera takes patience.  I must have stood there for close to a half hour trying to get these shots.  I have over a hundred other attempts that show mostly leaves and various bird parts as I missed shot after shot.

One of my neighbors stopped to ask what I was doing standing out in the middle of the yard.  The birds are so secretive and stealthy with their work, that they aren't terribly visible to the passerby.

To me they look a bit like Asian ninjas with their black mask and aerodynamic-looking crest.


It's a thrill to stand beneath the tree and watch so many of them flitter about at once.  


This year I was lucky enough to have my camera ready, a nice day AND photogenic subjects...


It has been an incredible birding year so far.  First the hawks, then the ospreys in Florida, then the bluebirds, and now the Waxwings...


If this keeps up, you all are going to think this is a birding blog!  

The last few months have been busy with Jack's last weeks of school.  This week is full of festivities and pomp...a mother/son luncheon, family coming from Texas and ending the week with graduation and a party.  Life is good.


I hope to be back to my needles next week and posting more regularly then.  In the meantime, I'm soaking up every moment as my nest gets closer and closer to emptying.

Happy Memorial Day all.  I hope you have a magical week.

27 comments:

Rachel said...

They are very photogenic, I must agree!
One of the best things about needlecraft is that the needles never complain if you go away for a while. They'll still be there when your social whirl is no longer whirling!

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing these photos...such beautiful birds!

Leah said...

I love your bird posts! The pictures you take are wonderful.

yarngoddess said...

Wonderful photos, we don't see these in my yard.
Diane

Bonnie said...

Excellent photography. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

Linda H said...

Beautiful photos (as always) Susan!!
Give my Best to Jack, hope he is enjoying all the festivities.

Irene said...

What lovely photos - certainly worthy of the 30 minutes it took to take them! I've really been enjoying your 'birding' photos.

Createology said...

I have never seen such a lovely bird. Your photos are amazing! Thank you for your "birding blog". Congratulations to Jack on his graduation. Celebrations are good...

Allison Aller said...

Your photos belong on the Audubon Society's homepage!

margaret said...

you have some wonderful photos here as you say well worth the time it took to capture these pretty birds, No cherries for you this year

cucki said...

So cute ❤️❤️

deb* said...

Beautiful photos...beautiful birds!

Shirlee Fassell said...

The birds may be photogenic but your pictures are magical! Thanks for sharing.

Cathi said...

What absolutely stunning photographs! Those birds are beautiful. Definitely worth the time you took getting all those great shots of them.

coral-seas said...

How lucky are we that you took the time and have the skill with a camera to capture these images and share them with us. Such a beautiful bird!

I know that you will be savouring and capturing memories of this special time with Jack.

Congratulations, Jack! Have a fabulous week.

Judy S. said...

Great photos,Susan. I've only seen cedar waxwings in our bird book, so it was fun to see your "real" pictures. The only bird we have here with a crest (that I know of) is the Steller's Jay which is big and blue/black. Have a happy, fun week and congrats to Jack on his graduation!

CATANGEL said...

que de belles photos prisent sur le vif, il faut le talent d'un photographe tel que toi
merci

Deb F said...

These are fabulous photos. We normally see the cedar waxwings in late fall as they migrate. It's a treat to see photos of them in the spring.

kitblu said...

Wow. I have never even seen a picture of a Waxwing never mind such great photos. I don't think they are in my area :(
Is it OK to Pin one of the photos? It will link back to your post.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

How beautiful! Thank you for the link to the film too.

JAG said...

Hmm, I wonder if they ever come into the city (I'm in DC)? We have two large cherries in the front and back of our house, but there are so many birds that I'm used to and we don't get in the city (e.g. blue jays are rare!). I'll have to look up and pay attention to the calls; I'm trying to teach myself bird calls but have really only mastered the wood pecker and the cardinal...not too tricky so far.

Enjoy your festivities this weekend and congratulations to the graduate!

Mary Ann said...

Beautiful pictures:) Waxwings show up at various times of the year around here. Spring and late summer mostly.

thewovenspoke said...

Beautiful photos of a bird I have only seen in books. Great photography.

sudukc said...

Great photos, glad you had time to stop and enjoy the moment.
Congratulations to Jack. And to you and his dad too.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Stunning photos, just beautiful birds.

H Gotts said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your bird pictures!!

Catherine said...

Beautiful photos!

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