Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Cedar Waxwing

Until this spring, I never recall seeing or identifying a cedar waxwing, and only have a bare recollection of even hearing the name of the bird.  So, after more than three years of photographing birds, I go from no photos of cedar waxwings to dozens of them.  I almost entirely missed Memphis spring photos this year due to funky cold weather.  I love photography, but I don't love getting cold.  

I was on a walk in Audobon Park when I saw dozens of cedar waxwings descend on a tree with buds.  The birds were everywhere, flocking and eating the buds.  I took a few photos and had to go home to make a positive identification of the bird.  I was thrilled to have a photo of a different bird species.  Robins and mockingbirds are just a bit too common.  Here is one of my first cedar waxwing photos: 

But that was just a precursor for a cedar waxwing experience to come.  My study looks out onto a patio where there is a large pyracantha bush with red berries.  Well, it USED to have red berries on it.   There was a frenzy of cedar waxwing activity on this one bush, and they managed to completely strip the berries off the bush within one half hour.  I felt as if I was witnessing an astonishing event.  Fortunately I happened to have my camera, and shot these photos through a somewhat dirty sliding glass door.  This event probably is not rare, but it was rare to me, so I just thought I would share these photos.  For the most part, I don't think the dirty glass on the door affected the photos all that much.  I didn't want to scare the birds by opening the door. 

So, I documented few flower buds this spring, and ended up with cedar waxwings.  When you are a nature photographer, you have to discard expectations and just take what nature gives you!  And, you just never know.   
This photo must have been taken through smudged glass.

This is a bit clearer

It was easy getting photos of berries in the mouth!

As you can see they are starting to do a number on the berries!

Three of them finishing off the remaining berries.

Bye, bye, berries!

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