Thursday, January 08, 2009

An Ear-full of Bohemian Waxwings


I knew they were Bohemians, rather than Cedars, as soon as I saw their cinnamon brown under tail coverts. But I am getting ahead of myself with the story. Yesterday, while nearing the mall at Oromocto, we saw three large flocks of birds in three of the tall trees lining the street in that area. And we agreed with each other, "... must be Starlings", but I decided to check anyway and pulled over onto the side.
"Oh my!", surprise, surprise!! They were Bohemian Waxwings and there were so many of them!! The smaller photo shown left holds about 226 birds!! Yes, I counted each, using my method of printing out the photo full size and then circling small groups and counting each bird within it.
Considering we had seen three bunches in trees there were easily 300 plus waxwings in the vicinity! Look at how closely they are bunched together. This was a remarkable sighting.
What an ear-full!! And what a strange choice for a collective noun referring to a group of Waxwings. Perhaps you would prefer to view a museum of them instead. According to the WhatBird website, either choice is proper. I remember the time I first really noticed Waxwings. There was a large group of them high on some roadside wires and at the time I was a bit intrigued with their sounds for it seemed like the wires were humming. You might say it was an 'earful'? If you're curious listen to their song on the WhatBird website and you might agree with my concluding impression of the 'singing wires' sound they make.
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Waxwings are berry eaters.

20 comments:

Kingsdowner said...

A museum of Waxwings? Why?

That's a good one for a quiz!

Kay said...

Wow! They are really beautiful birds and you were able to capture gorgeous photos! I have never seen one... ever. Thank you for sharing them with us.

abbey meadows said...

Wonderful shots of wonderful birds. These are the species we get over here. We have an invasion as well but it looks like you have more.

bobbie said...

Your photos are really something! What fun to see so many in one place.

Sharon said...

I love the phrase, "an earful", and after listening to the sound they make on "whatbird", I can't even imagine what 300 of them would sound like....probably pretty eerie! Beautiful photos!!
Thank you!

DeVona said...

The image of the waxwings with the berries looks like a beautiful artprint! Thank you for stopping to take another look at those "starlings"!

Mary said...

I was so excited about you seeing all those waxwings that I didn't read the info at first! Wow...what a sighting. I'm glad you realized they were something special and stopped. These photos are so great! They are beautiful birds! Now back to the info: An "earful"? "museum"? who thinks up these things? Just because the word "wax" is in their name?? I prefer earful to museum, I guess. Either way, they are beautiful and your photos are just wonderful...as well as the new header.

Ruth said...

I have only seen a few Bohemian Waxwings mixed in a flock with Cedar Waxwings. I do like the collective sound they make. What a great sighting.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

That's a lot of birds in a small area.I can only imagine how noisy they must have been.Gret pictures,showing their unertail coverts well.
Blessings,Ruth

me said...

Very cool sighting!

Deborah Godin said...

Man, those are great shots!! You are both lucky AND good with the camera, that's sure. Very appealing and entertaining post!

Tina said...

What an amazing find..thankgoodness you investigated! Yes, I do believe you counted them all I would have!! lol. That next to last photo of them eating those red berries is wonderful, its kind of like a circle of birds.. and the colors on these birds is remarkable! Such great photos...of sooo many of these birds.
Great post! Really enjoyed reading it and seeing the pics! Thanks.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Oh my gosh Ann...this is terrific..

gina said...

very interesting...i would have called them cedars. glad you pointed this out. thanks! :)

dAwN said...

Wow...looks like you got yourself a new header great shot!

Becky and Gary said...

Thanks Ann for all those great pictures. I've never ever seen any. How beautiful and soft they are.
B.

Hildegarde said...

Awesome !! Lucky you !!! Every year we're waiting here to see some, when it's very cold in northern Europe, some come over here, and eat berries, but so far i've not yet been lucky to see some in my neigbourhood. thanks for the 'earful' or 'museum' of Waxwings (I'm learning ;-)

SandyCarlson said...

Wow! I love these critters. These birds sure are social!

Kathiesbirds said...

HOw amazing! I would have liked to see that! Thanks for sharing the photos with us. I am so glad you stopped!

i beati said...

extraordinary shots Sandy