Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) are a North American species of fruit-eating bird that typically winters in the area between California and the Carolinas.i While the migratory (ie. mating)ii members of the species travel as far north as the Canada-US borderiii in the winter, only in the summer do they typically travel as far north as the 60th parallel. So what the hell were they doing in my backyard at the 53rd this weekend, in the middle of February, nibbling on my dried mountain ash berries ?
As you can well see, it was a bit overcast during this particular chinook.
You can also see that these birds are birds of a feather, and therefore travel in groups numbering well into the hundreds. If you put a gun to my head I’d wager that there were at least 300 of them in my yard at the same time.
God bless that 80yo German lady we bought the house off and her beautiful landscaping, including more than half-a-dozen birdhouses and bird baths.
But aside from the bait, why were we so blessed with such an exceptional sighting for the season ? The mercury hit a gloriously record-breaking 16.4C last week,iv inviting the more adventurous explorers (and more eligible bachelors) to pursue economic opportunities farther afield than usual.v
The winds of change truly warm the heart, don’t they.
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- ie. 32 – 42 N latitude. [↩]
- Amusing the parallels between these birds and the endarkened hordes invading Europe, non ? Both are leaving the familiar homes of their youths for better tail and more money. So what are you still sitting around for feeling all superior ? [↩]
- 49th parallel. [↩]
- It having been a more seasonal -27C not a week prior. [↩]
- Exactly in the way millennials, in the most broken and entitled sense of the term, aren’t. This plugged-in, always-on generation is starting barely a third the number of new businesses as its parents’ and is leaving its home state for work at half the rate of its grandparents’. Such a mobility-oriented bunch, these schmucks. [↩]