Sunday, December 29, 2013

More Waxwings!

Under improved lighting and weather conditions, I spent a couple of hours yesterday digiscoping the Cedar Waxwings near where I live. The flock has increased in size to around 400 birds. As the rising sun hit the treetops, the waxwings were perched together in tight groups.

As a flock, the waxwings decided it was time to get a little hydration in the form of snow. Though a matter of survival for them, for me it was quite comical watching hundreds of birds descend to the ground to eat snow. Other birds went for small patches of snow between branches.

This is one of the waxwings that went to the ground to eat snow. Hydrating themselves this way requires more energy than drinking water to keep themselves warm. It was no wonder that immediately after eating snow they went right for the nearby berry trees for nourishment and energy to fuel their metabolism.

As you can see, the waxwings have stripped some of the berry trees almost clean. There is still plenty of food for them in the area, but with the flock size increasing over the past few days I suspect these particular trees might not last the entire winter like I thought they would.

They truly are gorgeous birds!

All images © 2013 Mike McDowell

No comments:

Post a Comment