2023—Pick, Flip, and Gulp

Yesterday around noon, I looked out and noticed a half dozen birds perched in the leafless Red Oak over the back wall. I didn’t immediately recognize them as regulars to my garden so I picked up my binoculars and identified them as Cedar Waxwings. They came in, a few at a time and within minutes, the tree was full of them, at least 30, probably more, and they were motionless facing my direction. By the time another couple of dozen had arrived and landed in the other leafless Red Oak, I had my camera with Z400mm f/4.5 in hand and was poised in the doorway waiting. As if on cue, all fifty birds descended on one Japanese Privet in a feeding frenzy that was over within a minute. They were gone for a couple of hours and then I noticed a single Waxwing perched in one of the leafless oaks. Suddenly, a half dozen were crowded on the urn fountain bathing. Then the second feeding frenzy began. By this time, I had my Z800mm with the Z1.4X on a tripod and had moved outside slowly. Watching the feeding frenzy a second time was great fun. They’d pick a berry, flip it up, and gulp it down in a three step process repeated over and over. Just a couple of weeks ago I watched Snowy Egrets in Florida grab a fish, flip it up, and gulp it down. Pick, Flip, and Gulp! It’s how the birds do it!

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