The Cedar Waxwing have returned for their annual pilgrimage south, our version of the swallows returning to Capistrano. Double click the pictures to see them better.
The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few temperate dwelling birds that specializes in eating fruit. It can survive on fruit alone for several months. Unlike many birds that regurgitate seeds from fruit they eat, the Cedar Waxwing defecates fruit seeds. More of this article (with lots of pictures) from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
This is a picture of the Cedar Waxwing who have come back to visit us once again. The trees in the backyard are literally teeming with these birds. Daron, Dad and Marsh especially love our feathered friends. I am ambivalent, except for the fact they happily spread 'volunteers' all over my yard grown from the tiny seeds they poop.
[The term 'volunteer' is perhaps a Southern botany term meaning ~ "a cultivated plant, especially a crop plant, that grows without having been intentionally sown or planted". Dad taught me the word back when we first met and I remember hearing Grandma Milhollin mention it years ago.]
Speaking of birds. I am not sure if you remember my diminutive friend, Atticus.
Atticus and I keep company when I am home as he shares the study with me and the computers. He keeps up a constant chatter and trilling all day and frankly, I enjoy his company. He doesn’t ask for much, only water to splash around in and a bowl of fresh seed. As you know, there is nothing cuter than a tiny bird splashing around in water, so I make sure Atticus has some fresh water every day. He doesn’t have a preference on where you buy his seed or how much it costs. Mr. Finch doesn’t leave dirty dishes around and since he wears no clothes, there is nothing to be washed or picked up.
The day before yesterday, we had a near disaster and almost sudden bird death. After M and D were dropped off at the money pit, excuse me, the school, I returned home to work on some projects, pay bills and balance my checkbook. As I entered the study I noticed, Atticus, from his corner of the room, was putting up a terrible fuss. I walked over to his cage and noticed he was definitely flying upside down.
Atticus had caught his tiny talon on the thinnest piece of moss you have ever seen. He could not free himself and was flapping mightily and bouncing himself off the sides and bottom of the cage. When I had reached in and gently disentangled him from almost certain doom, he sat on the top of his nest panting as if he had run a marathon. My petite friend was visibly, terribly upset, but relieved to have survived his ordeal.