Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcome Friends!

Nothing brings more excitement to Bon Bon Pond than new guest birds!  Today we were treated to ten gorgeous visitors. I was outside and noticed the flock gathered around the front yard bird bath. Carefully inching closer I spotted what looked something like Cedar Waxwings but with heavily streaked breasts. I ran inside and grabbed my bible, Stan Tekiela’s Birds of Minnesota, and learned that this is the mark of the adolescents. Armed with my camera I rushed back outside, in time to capture one beauty still at the bath. 

What a treat!  During the dead of winter Cedar Waxwings pass thru, attracted by the fresh water I keep available year round, but I’ve never seen them so early in the autumn. 

I had hoped the backyard cedars would attract waxwings as regular residents, but, sadly, that never happened.  Last weekend, after much careful consideration, the decision was made to remove these trees as they were not attractive and made lawn mowing and leaf removal difficult.  With the majority of our cedars now gone (four remain along the driveway) I was surprised to see this flock of waxwings. 

This summer’s oppressive heat and accompanying drought conditions have been hard on the shallow-rooted cedars so perhaps berries are fewer causing the waxwings to move around in search of food?

I have an unscientific theory why some species don’t reside fulltime at Bon Bon Pond:  birds that do not eat seeds or suet or nectar are turned off by the large number of birds that do.   For instance, the robins left when I started feeding.  Occasionally--usually after mowing--I will spot a few red-breasts picking thru the grass clippings but they shy away from the feeder areas. 

This unwritten rule, however, goes out the window in winter where EVERYONE comes in for the water.  Whatever, the season, the avian Welcome Mat is always out at Bon Bon Pond!

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