17 April 2010

Spring Has Finally Sprung

For the past two years, at least, we've been given a unmistakable sign that Spring has truly arrived:  Cedar Waxwings.  Last year I first noticed a flock of them in our bald cypress picking seeds out of the cones that the tree had produced in abundance the autumn before.  Then the apple tree bloomed around mid-April.  The Waxwings were back in force and feasted on apple blossoms for days until the fruit set.  Then they were gone.

There was no bumper crop from the bald cypress this year, but the apple tree has done its thing again, and the Cedar Waxwings are back.  This time I caught them—in good light—with a 300mm zoom lens.

Cedar Waxwings are kind of mysterious.  They move in small flocks and you seldom see them unless there is food to eat.

I know next to nothing about these birds, except from what I've seen of them in the Spring the past couple of years.  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has interesting facts that fills in my knowledge.  They migrate in winter, unlike the American Robins who usually just bunch up in heavy cover in our neighborhood and sit out the winter making do with whatever berries they can find.  I saw my first robin in February, when we still had three feet of snow on the ground.

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