Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bohemian Waxwings

Bohemian Waxwings, Duluth, MN

Due to their nature, we new that Bohemians would be hit-or-miss. We had heard that a large flock was in the Duluth area, but they had been reported several places. These gorgeous northern waxwings are called Bohemian not because they are from the Czech Republic, but because of their wandering habit. (I love the pattern on the wings of the bird in the bottom center of the photo.)

When we were watching the Hawk Owl, I asked another birder about Bohemian Waxwings. They said that they had just seen a large flock at an intersection on the north side of Duluth earlier that morning. After checking out the Hawk Owl to our satisfaction, we headed that way. We didn't see any waxwings from the car, so we parked and started walking down the road. Shortly, the large flock descended on the roadside trees. It was incredible to be immersed in their calls and activity.

Bohemian Waxwings have a call that is similar to Cedar Waxwings, but is clearly distinct, being lower-pitched. The rufous under-tail coverts, gray belly, and white on the wings are the primary field marks.

The auto-focus clearly missed the point on this picture, but I liked the image it did capture. The background seems to be swirling with Bohemian Waxwings, which was what it felt like to be in the middle of a 300+ Bohemian flock.

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