Saturday, November 14, 2009

They're back ....

The strippers returned last weekend - and once again attacked our lone mountain ash tree devouring all it's berries in a matter of minutes. Greedy, greedy fellas! They had obviously cased the joint, or simply remembered what a great party they had last year - in fact the whole neighbourhood produced rich pickings, and they gorged themselves silly, and then swooped in huge groups from one front lawn to the next.

And 20 minutes later they had completely disappeared. Probably off to pillage the next housing development somewhere. How do they migrate with such huge bellies?!

If I've checked the internet correctly, then I believe these are Bohemian Waxwings which seem native to Europe, Asia and North America and like to nest in coniferous forests.

And I liked the definition of their latin name - Bombycilla garrulus - which I have stolen from Wiki.

"The generic name Bombycilla (from Latin Bombyx [silk/silk moth] + cilla [tail] ) is a direct translation of the Swedish name "Sidensvans' - silk tail and refers to the silky soft plumage of the bird; the species name garrulus means 'noisy' or 'quarrelsome'. "

Lordy - I know a few Homo sapiens garrulus, that's for sure!


  1. Pretty little fellows! We have Cedar Waxwings that migrate through here, but have not see any yet this autumn. Yesterday I heard the first of the Sandhill Cranes flying high overhead & squawking loudly. They are on their way to the Texas coast & we are in their flyway. They come down from the north and follow the Colorado River to the area around Port Aransas, TX.

  2. I like that fella....and I like his name even more....Bombycilla Garrulus. Sounds like an Indian Gladiator.

  3. It's really great that you have the berries there to feed them and send them on their way with full bellies! At the cottage we had a Mountain Ash. In the fall the partridge would come down the hill and eat the berries which had fallen and fermented on the ground. The partridge would ge "tipsy" off the berries and stumble around the yard!

  4. A very pretty little bird, too bad they are such gluttons. I think I have met a few Homo sapiens garrulus as well!
    Thanks for visiting my photo blog, I hope to see you again.
    The Road to Here

  5. what a super clear photo. Thanks for popping by my blog and commenting. I really appreciate it.

    Gill in SOuthern Ontario

  6. Thanks guys

    Neil - an Indian Gladiator - LOL - perfect!

    squirrelqueen - gluttons certainly - they make my husband with a bar of chocolate look tame.

  7. Beautiful picture. You are right, it is a Bohemian Waxwing. At times when they eat rotten berries, they will become drunk and will fly into thing. Great post.

  8. I used to draw this bird (and the peregrine falcon) endlessly when I was young but I've never seen one "in the flesh". I get excited at a starling these days :)

  9. Great photo, Ann. :-)

    Beautiful birds, despite their pillaging.

    Do you just see them at this time of year?

  10. bill - I've yet to see a drunken bird - that might be worth a giggle!

    mrs w - we'll need to find some more feathered friends for you so that the starlings don't make you come over all unnecessary!

    marnie - yep - I've only been conscious of these waxwings around this time of year - can't think that I've seen them any other month.

  11. Bohemian and cedar waxwings do travel in hordes don't they?

    Here it's the robins, though, that consume the mountain ash berries - after the berries have fermented. Fun to watch them as they act just as silly as humans who've imbibed too much.

  12. Thanks stine - I'm definitely going to have to keep my eyes open for all these wasted drunken birds.


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