There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum

  • Silky, brown head with short crest
  • Black mask, outlined in white
  • Black chin
  • Brown tapering to gray on back
  • Yellow belly
  • White undertail
  • Short, square tail , gray-black with yellow tip
  • Plain gray wings with waxy red spots (not always visible)

Listen to its call.

As I drove up the hill to Mt Tolmie, I noticed this bird perched in a tree at the edge of the road. Having only seen pictures of these birds in the past, I was struck at how beautiful it was. The contrasting black 'bandit mask', warm brown crested head and yellow belly made an attractive combination, especially with the sun shining down on it through the branches. After allowing me to take my fill of photos, the bird flew off in a flash of yellow to join another of its type further down the hill.  

Who was that masked man (or should I say bird) anyway?

Learn more about the Cedar Waxwing.


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