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Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:08 PM

 

Waxwings

A flock of about 40 cedar waxwings descended upon the cherry tree outside my office window this morning just as the snow was starting, and proceeded to strip it clean of the remaining cherries. I caught this picture of four of them...and then a friend reminded me of the Robert Francis poem. Just too perfect.

Waxwings

Four Tao philosophers as cedar waxwings
chat on a February berry bush
in sun, and I am one.

Such merriment and such sobriety--
the small wild fruit on the tall stalk--
was this not always my true style?

Above an elegance of snow, beneath
a silk-blue sky a brotherhood of four
birds. Can you mistake us?

To sun, to feast, and to converse
and all together--for this I have abandoned
all my other lives.

- Robert Francis

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Reply Waxwings (Original post)
WilliamPitt Feb 2014 OP
In_The_Wind Feb 2014 #1
redwitch Feb 2014 #2
In_The_Wind Feb 2014 #3
panader0 Feb 2014 #4
Crewleader Feb 2014 #5
marzipanni Feb 2014 #6

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 05:31 PM

1. Cedar Waxwings are truly beautiful.



It must have been a wonderful way to start your day.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 09:24 PM

2. And they have one of the most beautiful names too.

Indigo Bunting is another favorite of mine.

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Response to redwitch (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 13, 2014, 09:33 PM

3. The first Bunting I saw was in a field down in Accord.

Beautiful creatures.

It's surprising to watch their flight patterns so close to the ground as they catch bugs.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2014, 12:10 AM

5. Happy Valentine's Day WillPitt and Family!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2014, 01:56 AM

6. I'm impressed! They embody the word, "flighty", and I can barely see them let alone capture a photo!

I found one dead, no apparent cause, on my neighbors' lawn. Then I looked closer and noticed a cluster of cotoneaster berries stuffed in its beak. I put the bird in the freezer in a little airtight container; maybe I'll ask the taxidermy class at the high school if anyone wants to attempt to stuff it. Wondering about the cause of death, I searched, "cedar waxwing dead with berries in beak", and found-
<snip>
In fact, these birds have quite a reputation for gluttony. Audubon once noted that waxwings “gorge themselves to such excess as sometimes to be unable to fly...I have seen some which, although wounded and confined to a cage, have eaten of apples until suffocation deprived them of life.”
http://thenaturalcapital.blogspot.com/2009/10/look-for-cedar-waxwings.html

on a lighter note- from Wikipedia:
Pairing includes a ritual in which mates pass a fruit or small inedible object back and forth several times until one eats it (if it is a fruit). After this they may copulate.


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