Yesterday, about 3-4 dozen Cedar Waxwing birds paid a surprise visit to the Crab Apple tree in our backyard. They do this each year, and visit either our Crab Apple tree, &/or our neighbor's Mountain Ash tree. We never know when or if they will appear, but when they do, what a treat. They are interesting to watch, and have such beautiful coloring and distinctive markings.
|Grabbing a Crab Apple|
When they arrive, they come en masse as a flock. They descend into our tree, grabbing an apple from one branch or another, then quickly disappear into the treetops of nearby Spruce to eat. A few minutes later, the flock reappears and they repeat their fly-in, grab and fly-off routine that only takes a few seconds. They do this, perhaps a half dozen times, and then are gone until next year.
Cedar Waxwings are challenging to photograph. First, your camera needs to be nearby and ready to go because you don't know when or if they might arrive during mid to late winter, and certainly not the day, or the hour. Second, you need to use a relatively high ISO and shutter speed because they never seem to sit still. And third, they stay for such a short time, take what images you can, and enjoy the moment.
|Beautiful and distinctive markings of Cedar Waxwing|
Proper Name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Diet: specialize in eating fruit, particularly during the summer,
supplemented with berries from cedar, juniper and other scrub bushes,
and insects and budworms
Wing Span: 8.7–11.8 in (22–30 cm)
Body Size: 5.5–6.7 in (14–17 cm)
Height: 75 to 100 cm
Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)
Habitat: deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands, particularly areas
along streams; also find them in old fields, grasslands, sagebrush, and
even along desert washes
Range: southern Canada from coast to coast during the summer (breeding)
to Central America and northern Southern America during the winter
|Grabbing a Crab Apple before heading to nearby Spruce to eat it|