Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Just Passing Through

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

Every year, flocks of Bohemian Waxwings pass through the village in October on the way south to their winter quarters, and again in mid-to-late March when they fly back to their summer breeding grounds in the boreal forests of the north. Bohemians are sociable, gregarious creatures, and one always knows when they are about.

Traveling in madcap flocks, the birds stop along their way to fill up on berries, cherries and other fruit, and their appearance here makes me smile, a fine thing this year since our winter was (or rather is) a long one this time around. They fly in daredevil circles around and through the old crabapple tree, gleefully dance from branch to branch, make crude comments to watching crows and starlings, laugh raucously at their own jokes and pelt each other with frozen crabapples. You gotta love their attitude.

I thought these rowdy visitors were Cedar Waxwings until I noticed their peachy colored faces, rufous (red) undertail coverts and white wing streaks, also their scarlet-tipped secondaries, often a little harder to see. By the time they departed, the old crabapple was bare, and there were fragments of frozen crabapple all over the front yard. Along came feathered clean up crews, and leftovers were gone in a moment or two.

Bohemians are seasonal harbingers, and their appearance in the front yard in March means (hopefully) that springtime is on its way. This year, perhaps they should have waited for a few weeks though - we still have a long way to go.


Tabor said...

I love these exotics. Saved one many winters ago and blogged about it. Great ohotos.

littlemancat said...

Beautiful creatures indeed!