Thursday, July 8, 2010

Drunken Cedar- Wicked Waxwings

Cedar Waxwing enjoying a Choke Cherry. Nice hair-do!
This one looks like a burglar in a mask sneaking up on the berries.
Cedar Waxwings get their name from the red tips of their wings which someone thought looked like red sealing wax.
"You're going to get that stuff stuck in your braces and your jaw will glue shut!"
I think Cedar Waxwings are one of the most dramatic birds that we have. That says a lot considering that they are a nearly drab, sable brown color and they have bad hair. I guess it is the mask that does it for me. I have always gravitated to men who have the aura of bad about them, my current husband not withstanding. He's a super nice guy; everybody says so. Sometimes, I find his virtuousness and people's constantly telling me what a kind, nice man he is to be tedious. They are absolutely correct in their assessments, but it's like living with the Dali Llama. I'm just not up to the challenge and find it burdensome. I'm not that nice. If my husband were a bird, he would be a Black-capped chickadee and I would be a Sharp-shinned hawk.
     David says that when birds eat berries, they get drunk from fermentation of the berries and that's what makes them crash into windows. His excusing the birds and blaming their behavior on the demon Choke Cherry is an example of his more benevolent mindset than my own. I say "Blame the birds!" They could stick to eating spiders or snakes and staying home instead of driving into my windows. There should be laws, honestly. I'm going to make it a point to call my congressman about this.
     Another thing I think I'll call my representative about is legislating the erratic appearance and disappearances of certain birds. I'm not talking about pollution or global warming, either. I'm talking about the unexplained no-shows. This year, there are hardly any Ruby-throated hummingbirds here. Usually, we have eight to ten of them zipping around and I have to practically beat them back with a stick. They threaten to lodge in my hair and I can't keep up with filling the feeders. The feeders are the same ones hung in the same places, too. This year, however, I've only seen two hummingbirds at once and not every day. It's a mystery. David says the hummingbirds are cute and he misses them. See the difference in our thinking? It's amazing that we are married. The Cedar Waxwings, however are all over the place. Everyday, I see and hear them. They have a distinct, electronic buzz of a sound unmistakable in the trees even when they aren't visible. Most summers, I rarely see Cedar Waxwings and associate them with spring and fall migrations. The Bad Boys in masks have commitment issues this far south, heading generally north for picking up chicks. Their prevalence here this summer is as unexplained as the absence of the hummingbirds. I think there should be a law against this irregularity. At least, there should be some expectation of regular appearances -like if you miss too many dental appointments, you get dropped from the patient panel. If my husband were an orthodontist, he would be the only broke one on the planet. He would give everybody a break, no matter what their flimsy excuse for not showing up.

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  1. I enjoy your sense of humor and beautiful photos! I have a 13 year old daughter and so have not much time for serious bird watching but I love knowing what others are seeing!

  2. A wonderfully facetious post Robin!

    I love when the Cedar Waxwings visit during the early winter months, bringing along their cousin the Bohemian Waxwing. But during this time of the year, the Cedars stop by and check the blueberries to see if they are ripe yet. This year, there are not many blueberries because of a late freeze during the bloom. The Cedars will have some competition with the original "Blueberry Bandit", the Piliated Woodpecker.

    I saw a post somewhere on the great WWW, that Al Gore invented, where a birder strung blueberries on a fine string and hung it out for the Cedar Waxwings. Hmmm, might be worth a try!


  3. Thank you! You are getting some fabulous photos - I love seeing them !!! Lots for the contest, you'll win this year !!

  4. "Facetious,......." Hhhmmmm. That's an awfully big word for me. I might have to look it up on Mr. Gore's web. I think the stringing of berries on a fish line is a dandy idea. I'm off the market to buy a box for that purpose. GREAT!thank you too much, John!

  5. No! Not here. The berries are not ripe on the Rowan tree. They will flock in when the berries are ripe. But, i am insanely jealous that you have them there and I son't. Life is a bitch!

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  7. Beautiful pictures of the cedars, Robin.Always enjoy your posts.Peter

  8. Thank you for saying so, Peter! I appreciate the time it takes for people to read this stuff and comment.

  9. Love the waxwings,and we don't have any,strange when we live so close. We have been seeing hummers though,maybe there are too many blossoms
    in your garden?

  10. "love your pictures and stories."

  11. Robin - WONDERFUL post! No Cedar Waxwings in Kentucky right now, they have come and gone, but what an amazing sight when the Serviceberries are bending from their weight each Spring. Please keep photographing those eaglets....they are morphing from adorable to majestic. Using birds to compare you and your husband is delicious humor.....I don't know either of you, but this certainly gives a clue. Could be a new parlor game!

  12. Love your beautiful petunias! As for the cute Cedar Waxwings...getting a little plump eating all those Choke Cherries! How about sending your Congressman a bushel of Choke Cherries which may help, once eaten, to make improved future decisions. Do you think the sea gulls ate all the Hummingbirds, too? NASTY!

  13. Wow! Beautiful photos and a very amusing post. We have Waxwings here which look quite similar to yours. I wish we had Humming Birds, if they do turn up eventually and you manage to trap a few in your hair please send them winging my way :)

  14. Nice pics of the waxwings, Robin.

    the Dalai Lama

  15. Nice shots of the Waxwings Robin. I have seen Red Admiral butterflies drunk on fermenting on Pears!



  16. Unexpected appearances and disappearances keeps life interesting, doesn't it? Love your post and pics! In German waxwings are called "Seidenschwanz" or silken tails, probably because their feathers are so fine that their coats look like silk.

  17. Hilke, I find they are difficult to photograph well because of that factor: hard to get definition. My Bavarian grandmother would appreciate your comment! I think they do like like silk.

  18. Seamus, Now a drunken ADMIRAL I can totally believe!

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