Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome Back, Waxwings!

Now I know it's fall, because the Cedar Waxwings have arrived and are feasting on the Red Cedar cones outside our apartment's windows. Big flocks of these birds have shown up for the Red Cedar harvest in the last week of September every year since we moved here, and they were right on time again this year. :)

Almost all of the birds in this group are streaky juveniles. They're not quite as sleek as their adult relatives, but they're still pretty awesome with those cool masks. They do look kind of funny head-on, though:

The feasting is pretty much all-day out there, with waxwings crowding onto branches to get the best berry-like cones:

Mmm food!


Juvenile or not, all these waxwings are sporting their perfect yellow-dipped tails:

Hey, bird, your yellow spot is in the wrong place....

Oh! A Yellow-rumped Warbler!

I was actually really surprised to see this little yellow-butt (as Paul and I call them) feeding with the Cedar Waxwings. Usually, the waxwings come through our trees in late September through early October, and then flocks of Yellow-rumped Warblers show up for a later feast in the last half of October through early November. (This is the magic of eBird, that I have these records so readily at hand.) This fellow (lady?) seemed to be alone, though, so maybe the groups of yellow-butts will still stop by in a few weeks. In any case, I'm happy to have this early visitor! I love these little birds and their amazingly showy butts:

While I'm already sharing pictures of yellow birds, here's a very puffy American Goldfinch in its dull winter garb who also showed up outside our windows in the past couple of days. I almost never actually see goldfinches in our yard, although they're anything but rare in this area, so it was cool to see this creature up close:

I love fall. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I just discovered my first Yellow Rump Warbler today. It may be an Audubon's Warbler.
    Alberta , Canada