The trees are alive with the sound of music

Or at least, they’re alive with the sound of birds.  Not particularly harmonious birds, but a lot of birds.  My inspiration came to me today, rather than me having to go out and seek it.  See, I was watching the sky outside, because it looked like it might rain, and I noticed that my cedar tree seemed to be animated.  I kept seeing flashes of red and black and yellow, so I had to go out to see what was up.

Apparently, during those four years I was living an architecture student’s life, I missed the annual migration that takes a stop right in my front yard.  I am not the only one who loves the cedar tree in my front yard; it is a favorite of a multitude of birds.  They eat the berries to fuel up for their northerly migration, which means that my northern friends and readers are likely to be seeing them soon.  I think that’s pretty early, but like I said, I have never really noticed this before.

Migrating birds are fun to  watch, and to see how differently the different species act.  The robins, while not exactly ready to fly down and land on my shoulder, are able to stay still for a little while, so I could focus on them.  So, the clearest shots are of robins.

The cedar waxwings are much shyer, staying deeper within the tree and flying off much more quickly.  They did not allow for many clear shots at all for my slow hands.  The autofocus was useless for them because they would not come to the outer branches.  I ended up with photos that were either completely out of focus or showed nothing but their rear ends.  This silhouette may not show the colors, but you can see their crests, which look very similar to that of a cardinal. It can be hard to tell a waxwing from a juvenile cardinal, but if there are several of these yellowish birds with no bright red ones in sight, then you can be sure they are waxwings rather than cardinals.

These little guys, the most numerous of the birds, were also very hard to capture well.  They flitted around, jumping from branch to branch, flying off whenever there was the slightest noise.  I wanted to get clearer images, if for nothing but to figure out exactly what they are.  I am pretty sure that they are some type of warbler, perhaps a palm warbler, but I am not entirely sure.  There were some pretty tunes among the general noise.


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