Painted birds

11 Feb

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Long on my Must See List — now on my Life List!   Since it was Sunday morning, I decided to go get donuts for the boys and my coffee for me.  On the way home, I took a slight detour by the preschool my kids used to go to.  Out in front is this gorgeous holly tree.  It was brimming with life.  There were dozens of birds in it and more in nearby trees waiting their turn.  I pulled over and stopped hoping against hope that I’d finally see some Cedar Waxwings.

It took me a moment to realize that I really was seeing them.  For one thing,  they are smaller than I had pictured them.  For another, the sky was so bright and they were so far away that I couldn’t see them very well.  Sadly, I had no camera with me but my cell phone.  Useless.  But, I mentally ticked them off my list and drove home.

I wasn’t home a half an hour before I knew that I had to go back with my camera.  Thank goodness I did.  They were still there and I got some great shots of them and the much larger American Robins with whom they were hanging and sharing the delicious red berries.

These gorgeous, social birds were well worth the wait and well worth the drive back to see them.  Even my husband who sort of pooh-poohed my return trip was impressed with the pictures of them.  I had shown him the Sibley picture of them but it’s not that good — doesn’t do them justice.  I knew I’d captured their essence when he said, “It doesn’t look real.”  But they are, I assured him. And, now I’ve seen them for myself.

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8 Responses to “Painted birds”

  1. jayne 11 February, 2008 at 3:55 am #

    Oh, lucky you!!! Aren’t they just spectacular? I am so green and so want to run across a bush full of these beauties!

  2. NatureWoman 11 February, 2008 at 4:14 am #

    Ohhhh, beautiful photo Liza!!!

  3. Lynne at Hasty Brook 11 February, 2008 at 6:02 am #

    Even non-birders can’t help but be impressed by their beauty. I’m happy for you that you got to watch them, photograph them and check them off your life list!

  4. jodyss 11 February, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    Oh! Oh! What a gorgeous picture. I’m sooooo happy that you got to see them! Yay!

  5. Trixie 11 February, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    I love these birds…they used to hang out in the trees right by my office window. We were on Soquel Ave, across the street from the Staff of Life. When the birds were there, I didn’t get a whole lot done. Sigh….

    I am so glad you got to see them and get great pictures.

  6. Miz S 11 February, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    “I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
    By the false azure in the windowpane;
    I was the smudge of the ashen fluff – and I
    Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky.” –Nabokov

    Sorry. There I go being pretentious.

  7. mary 11 February, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    Congratulations! You’ve seen that wonderful bird! Aren’t they just spectacular?

  8. bevson 13 February, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    What a fabulous shot! I adore them. We have them often here in NJ. I am always struck by out elegant they look. Congrats!

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