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Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:53 AM

Shortly after 7 A.M.

I was outside with my doggies and saw a great mass of birds in the sky. The flock landed in a tree several houses down and I knew what they were. The Cedar Waxwings have been rather elusive this year, choosing to feed from berry shrubs other than my own. I grabbed my camera and in my flip-flops I walked through the cold, wet grass in hopes of getting close enough to snag a few photos.

I didn't want to get too close and cause them to fly away. Against the backdrop of a still rising sun I was able to get a few shots before they took off again.























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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Shortly after 7 A.M. (Original post)
Solly Mack Mar 2013 OP
bluedigger Mar 2013 #1
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #3
bluedigger Mar 2013 #5
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #7
bluedigger Mar 2013 #8
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #10
bluedigger Mar 2013 #11
Earth_First Mar 2013 #2
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #4
Mira Mar 2013 #6
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #9
2naSalit Mar 2013 #12
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #14
2naSalit Mar 2013 #19
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #21
alfredo Mar 2013 #13
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #15
alfredo Mar 2013 #17
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #22
alfredo Mar 2013 #26
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #27
alfredo Mar 2013 #28
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #30
alfredo Mar 2013 #31
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #32
alfredo Mar 2013 #33
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #34
alfredo Mar 2013 #35
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #36
alfredo Mar 2013 #37
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #29
pscot Mar 2013 #16
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #23
ramapo Mar 2013 #18
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #24
Bonhomme Richard Mar 2013 #20
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #25
Celebration Mar 2013 #38
Solly Mack Mar 2013 #39
Dyedinthewoolliberal Mar 2013 #40

Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:55 AM

1. You had some good light.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:59 AM

3. My toes were so cold and the light was blinding.

I landed on my bum at one point. Cold bottom is one way to wake up.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:02 PM

5. Ouch!

My dog got loose last Saturday morning. As I was out looking for her I slipped on some ice. I recovered before I fell, but in the process I gave myself a Grade II muscle pull in my quad.

To add insult to injury my dog was waiting for me back at the apartment when I hobbled home.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:04 PM

7. Dogs are like that. Bet he looked at you funny too.

Wondering what took you so long. lol

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:06 PM

8. She paid for it.

Her walks were severely curtailed for a couple days. I'm still sore.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:07 PM

10. Oh, dang. Hope you're all well soon.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:10 PM

11. Thanks, Solly.

Ice the first day, and heat since. Next time I'll just hit the street. Scabs heal faster.

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:57 AM

2. AMAZING!

The elusive Cedar Waxwing.

I am lucky enough to see maybe a dozen of them a year.
You had the chance to see my entire lifetime worth in a single flock!

Impressive!

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:02 PM

4. They come here in swarms. They'll be gone soon though. :(

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:03 PM

6. Only you could present them to us like this

a lead in and overview - a great tale - and then the color comes in heavy along with the close ups.
You're a master.
Thanks.

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Response to Mira (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:06 PM

9. Thanks, Mira.

I was just so happy to get as close as I did. I think they're beautiful birds. I think they know it too.

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:50 PM

12. Absolutely beautiful!

Waxwings are some of my favorite birds, they saved me from Siberian Elm bark beetles one year and I have loved them all the more ever since then. The summer they arrived to divest my five huge S. Elms (and the interior of my cabin) of those pesky little bugs, I was also engaging in a massive landscaping endeavor. They were in my trees in a large flock nearly all summer which afforded me the opportunity to observe their behaviors at length and it was a wonderful experience.

They performed their mating rituals within a few feet of where I was working in the yard and I heard their little twittering, tweety mating songs with such regularity throughout they day that I was actually hearing those sounds in my head every night when I fell to sleep, for months. It was an other-worldly sweet way to go to sleep.

The mating dance is surely the inspiration of romantic caricature seen in many a cartoon and film... the pair sit on a branch inches apart at first, then one will hop sideways to be closer to the other and gives it a little snuzzle. Then the snuzzlee hops a couple inches away, they sing for a moment, then the snuzzlee becomes the snuzzler in the same manner as they exchange roles. This can go on for ten minutes or so, then, still singing these twittering tweety sounds, they fly off somewhere only to replaced by another pair. That was one idyllic summer for me, and I had a minimum of twenty bird species that I could identify at the time including five types of hawks, in one little double lot in the city. But I didn't have a camera!

Thanks for the beautiful images, and sparking those memories!



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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:30 PM

14. What a great memory! I'll have to be on the lookout for their mating ritual now that I

know what to look for. Thank you!


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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 05:52 PM

19. Indeed.

I thought you might be interested in that, it's quite charming to observe. Since you have access to them and watching what they do... They absolutely LOVE bark beetles. I lived in that place for over five years, was infested indoors and out when I moved in. The next summer a huge flock moved in and cleaned up the place! They were there every day and I was truly blessed to have them provide that organic service for me. I never had much of any sign of those beetles ever again, even to this day when I go back and visit my "awesome garden" that I built.

Glad you are interested it's truly a delight to have them around, and thanks again for going to the effort of getting those wonderful pictures this morning. I have a while to wait for them to get up here above 6,000ft... we're getting about ten+ inches of snow right now but the temps are warm ~ above 0(F) at night.

I just got a new camera yesterday and I hope to have some good "stuff" to share soon, after I get oriented to all the additional features beyond what my other, older camera has.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:17 PM

21. Looking forward to your photos! I put out fruit for them

around the trees they like. They used to like the trees in my backyard but I think maybe the other birds crowded them out. I'm just happy I could get a photo or two finally. They've been hard to catch this winter.

Thanks, again!

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:54 PM

13. Good job! I love Cedar Waxwings.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:31 PM

15. They're a beautiful bird.

Beautiful masked bandits!

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 04:39 PM

17. I love their distinctive flight around their roosting tree.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:18 PM

22. Yes! I saw that this morning.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:10 PM

26. It is as distinctive as the flight of the Woodpecker.

Have you ever spotted a Red Headed Woodpecker? They are gorgeous in person. Photos don't do them justice.




They are somewhat rare in this part of the state, the Pileated is more common.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #26)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:13 PM

27. How pretty! Haven't seen one IRL.

We have them though.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:51 PM

28. They are much bigger than one would think.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #28)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 08:14 PM

30. I was surprised that some woodpeckers are as large as they are.

It's a diverse group of birdies.

I took a rough pine log I found and got some free scrap wood from the local lumber company and built a woodpecker feeder.

I secured the scrap pine beam to the pine log (my base) and then secured suet feeders to that. That way the birds can have a tail lean and the smell and feel of pine. I filled one feeder with peanuts in the shell and the other with a fruit suet. We'll see how it works. I made it today. I saw something similar at a birdhouse site and they wanted entirely too much money for something I could build myself. Took all of 30 minutes. (bragging) lol

The tufted titmice love it. They hit it up as soon as I filled the containers and stayed there. I sprinkle black-oil sunflower seeds on the log base.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #30)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 09:21 PM

31. I had to put a locking carabiner on the

Suet basket. The Raccoons learned how to open the basket.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:21 PM

32. I don't get Raccoons. We have them they just don't come around.

I don't know why that is either. Got woods, got garbage cans. No raccoons.


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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #32)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:39 PM

33. I have a bird feeder, woods, and a compost heap. They'll come right up to the back door.

Cat food left out by others in the neighborhood is probably one attraction.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #33)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 12:16 AM

34. Take some photos. :)

I like critters.


Primarily dogs on this street. Some of them huge. Probably why the raccoons stay away. Hard to get into trash cans as well. Only cats are the feral ones. They eat birds.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 01:41 AM

35. My wife would freak out if I got near enough to get a good shot.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 02:09 AM

36. Wouldn't want that.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #36)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 02:11 PM

37. Any animal related to the wolverine needs to be shown some respect.

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Response to Solly Mack (Reply #27)


Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:51 PM

16. Well done!

The close ones especially.

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Response to pscot (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:19 PM

23. Thank you, pscot.

I was afraid they would fly away as I was walking up so I just walked and snapped at the same time. Probably why I landed on my bottom.

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 04:58 PM

18. Great light!

I felt like I was up in the tree with the birds.

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Response to ramapo (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:19 PM

24. Thanks, ramapo!

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:14 PM

20. Cool and freaky at the same time. n/t

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Response to Bonhomme Richard (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:21 PM

25. lol! A lot of birds can give one pause.

Thank you, AH! lol

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 05:29 PM

38. Too amazing!

Love migrations because of the flocking!

Great job.

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Response to Celebration (Reply #38)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:36 PM

39. Thanks, Celebration.

I was just so happy they remained still as long as they did.

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Response to Solly Mack (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:26 AM

40. All great shots!

For some reason I like #6 the best. I also like the shots where the light is coming through the wings. Very cool!!!

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