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Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/32, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-07 3:43
Viewed: 4018
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I dedicate this posting to Jane ( jaycee ), we finally had a blue sky that can rival that beautiful Arizona blue.
In the last week or so the Bohemian Waxwings have come to visit. They come to raid the berry bushes and apple trees, and they arrive en mass with flocks of hundreds at a time. This is a few from a flock we watched at Ressor Lake they would fly over our heads from the berry bushs to high up in the Aspens.

Bohemian Waxwing
Bombycilla garrulus
General Description

By Gustave J. Yaki

Most birds that migrate to Alberta arrive in spring, to breed and then return to warmer climes before winter sets in. In contrast, a few arrive at the onset of winter and then spend the coldest months with us. One of these is the sleek-plumaged, attractive Bohemian Waxwing which breeds in northern Eurasia and northwestern North America. In Alberta, they breed in the boreal forest in the northern half of the province and southward along the mountains into Waterton National Park. In winter, they wander widely, so can then be expected throughout the densely settled part. It is unlikely, but plausible, that some of these winter visitors might actually have come from another continent.

Bohemians, in large flocks, sometimes up to 10,000 individuals, arrive in the prairie area of southern Alberta in mid October. In most years, their numbers decline, because some move on when their berry supply dwindles. Then they turn up in northern USA and as far east as Newfoundland. In late March/early April they return, once more become abundant before disappearing to their summering grounds.

On their breeding grounds, flying insects are a major food item. They also eat many species of fruit and berries. In winter, they seek out the ornamental Rowanberry/European Mountain-ash, commonly planted in cities and towns. Other fruits commonly eaten locally are crabapple, hawthorn, Peking Cotoneaster, Wolf-willow and Common Bearberry. While feeding, they often allow close approach for viewing.

The Bohemian Waxwing is one of three species in a family that develop red wax-like droplets on the tips of their secondary wing feathers, the only birds in the world that are so ornamented. The older, more experienced males have the greatest amount and apparently are preferred as mates by those females lucky enough to team up with one. The cup nest is usually placed in an isolated conifer. The female incubates the four to six eggs for 13-14 days, being fed by the male during that time. The young, fed regurgitated berries and insects, leave the nest at 15-17 days of age.

PaulH, ramthakur, eqshannon, Argus, Alex99, jaycee, Luis52, MMM, CeltickRanger, NinaM, bobair, writerscrawlz has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-02-07 4:58]

Hi Rick,
good to see you have some blue skies at last...ours are grey again!
Great group shot of these nice looking birds, good composition and some nice light too.

Jane would be pleased to see your birds against the blue sky, Rick.
I feel the image is a tad dark. Other than that, I am delighted to see these birds together.

You have framed them well Rick. These birds have quite the unusual luster about them. Add that to the sharp perch and the sky and then frame e it in the viewfinder or PP and you get two points for not only sowing up, but for b3eing well prepared!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-07 6:57]

Hi Rick.
Very nice composition created by cute tree and amazing birds. I like scene at whole, wonderful colours and excellent details of entire image. Despite the specific kind of branch patter you managed to compose shot perfectly. TFS and best regards.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-07 6:58]

Hello Rick,
A fine capture of a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings set in a pleasing composition in the aspen branches against a northern blue sky. Certainly a reminder of Jane's postings and a fine tribute to her.
Your informative note describes the movements of these bohemiand very well and is a good parallel to their distribution behaviour patterns in Europe as well. Thanks for sharing this together with the fine image.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-07 8:12]

Hi Rick,

Thank you for the dedication! That sky certainly is blue. How did you know I loved these Waxwings even though I have never seen a real one? I love all the different poses.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-02-07 8:53]

Hi Rick.
How may are they? Great image of this nice looking birds, I have a very similar photo of a lot of this waxwing birds here in my files.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-02-07 10:33]

Hi Rick,
I love Waxwings and you have seen a whole flock of them you lucky man!
Great detail and clarity.
Nice colours.
The blue sky is splendid! :-)
Nice and thoughtful dedication to Jane.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-07 13:23]

Hi Rick

Superb colours here, plus a great group shot of the Waxwings. Plus a worthy dedication.



  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-02-07 14:10]

Hi Rick
Nice capture.Well composed image of those beautiful bird.Good POV.
TFS Michel

hello Rick

excellent shot of this Bohemian Waxwings
they are beautiful birds, i love the POV of your image
to show us all this birds perched on the branchs,
lovely colors of the birds and the sky blue too



  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-02-07 21:56]

Hello Rick,
Very beautiful picture of those Waxwings,
indeed that is a beautiful blue sky, good
composition and POV.. Well done


Oh! I have seen similar situation recently but the sky was so grey and covered that my pictures didn't come out this way! This is very impressive to see though and those birds made so funny noises :) I have never seen them again since that day... This is a very nice capture and I think that those birds are some of the more beautiful ones! Thanks,

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-02-09 2:02]

Hello Rick, great captre of these beautiful Waxwings ! Great composition and excellent technique, well done, thanks!


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-02-09 9:21]

Hello Rick, I missed that shot of yours and it is beautiful. Those birds are very photogenic and you sure captured them well. I love the blue blue sky and those birds almost "arranged" on the branches. thanks and hope you feel better!


Magnifique, superbe composition, chanceux d'avoir ces oiseaux près de chez toi.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-02-09 19:59]

Hello Rick

Interesting foliage on the trees you have out there at this time of the year lol.These are beautiful birds,and they look so good in large flocks like this.
The plumage is so sleek and they have vibrant colours.
Very good POV.Well focused,the blue sky really sets them off nicely.


Hi Rick,
first I hope that you are well and feeling better.I love the sight of these little birds,probably not as much as Claudine but I do like 'em.My last photo shoot,a week ago today was of these very same birds.I made a mistake standing under a tree with about 200 of them in it,oops!I like the true colour and the details you captured in your photo and one thing I wish we could do is include sound bites of them in our uploads.Thanks for sharing your capture of these fine little friends.10000 in one flock,I need an umbrella! Bob

You know, this looks like my tree, only I have sparrows in them! I'm also reminded of the old classic movie "The Birds," not that I think these are dangerous creatures! :) I love these birds and saw my first one a few weeks ago. I think the sky really adds contrast to this photo, especially since the birds blend in so well with the tree. I also love the pov. Nicely done.

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