Saturday, June 13, 2009

During the time I was downtown, Pavel went out to explore different parts of the Mystic preserve. Every day he went, he saw a new bird. Among those - Baltimore orioles, a yellow-shafted flicker, yellow warblers, a king bird, plenty of swallows and killdeer.

The best find, though, was in a sycamore tree by the orange line overpass:



Audubon's Cedar Waxwings, drawn April, 1820. "[Audubon] observed that various plants provide these birds with plenty of berries and fruits, on which they fatten, and become so tender and juicy as to be sought by every epicure for the table. He had known an instance of a basketful of these little birds having been forwarded to New Orleans as a Christmas present. They never arrived, and it was afterwards discovered that the steward of the steamer, in which they were shipped, made pies of them for the benefit of the passangers.*"

Pavel tells me that these birds have a song that is so high-pitched that he nearly mistook it for some sort of insect sound. Tender as they might be, he didn't seem much interested in bagging any for that night's dinner; is wondering more on how to attract them into his yard. Maybe if we were to supplement the yew tree with a juniper bush (as seen in the print). This seems like a good excuse to get that mountain ash he's been talking about for some time, as well.

***

*From "Original Watercolor paintings by John James Audubon for the Birds of America." American Heritage Publishing, 1966, plate #9.

2 comments:

Jo said...

They LOVE berries. We have these bushes in Maine that grow like scrub under our deck (deck is about 10 ft in the air) and Mom and I will sit there and suddenly we will see them all vibrate like they are alive and it is the flock of cedar waxwings come to clean all the berries off the bushes. They are so beautiful with their robbers masks.

Be said...

Okay, that settles it. Mountain ash AND juniper (just like the picture). Want them here.