Cedar Waxwings in a Canyon & Memories of My Grandmother From Long Ago

/, Cedar Waxwings, Little Emigration Canyon, Morgan County, Utah/Cedar Waxwings in a Canyon & Memories of My Grandmother From Long Ago

Cedar Waxwing adult in Morgan CountyCedar Waxwing adult in Morgan County – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1,4x TC, natural light

The weather has been kind of cruddy around here lately with high winds, snow in the higher elevations, drizzle in the valley and clouds which have all kept me out of the field since last Friday. I get antsy when I can’t be out in the field photographing birds. The weather is taking a turn for the better though and I hope to be back in the field as early as tomorrow or maybe even later this afternoon.

I was looking through my archives from last year and came across some images I had taken last June in Morgan County, Utah that I hadn’t processed yet and I came across these Cedar Waxwing photos. I heard these Cedar Waxwings before I saw them which is usual for me and then when I did see them I was delighted that they were out in the open because usually I see them buried under the canopy of trees. I suspect that these waxwings were nesting in the area because I saw a few of them through my lens at what appeared to be nests deep in the shade of the oaks.

Cedar Waxwing adult perched on a bare branchCedar Waxwing adult perched on a bare branch – Nikon D810, f8, 1/640, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1,4x TC, natural light

I often think about my maternal grandmother when I see and hear Cedar Waxwings because when she visited me and my family in Georgia many years ago she and I shared a wonderful moment with these birds. I had a privet outside of my back door which produced tiny little berries that the waxwings would come to a huge flocks during the month of December.

My grandmother had come to stay for Christmas and we were sitting at my dining room table when I heard the waxwings fly in. We opened the backdoor slowly and from inside we were able to watch, shoulder to shoulder, as the flock of Cedar Waxwings ate the berries off of that privet until they had picked it clean.

My grandmother and I were both so happy to have seen them and to have shared the moment with each other. My grandmother painted birds and loved them all, I can’t help but feel that she would be delighted that I photograph them now.

Life is good.



  1. Pepe Forte June 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Great images to go along with a great memory. Very cool. Thanks for sharing Mia.

  2. Elephants Child June 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    They look such sleek and elegant birds. Love that they trigger memories of time with your grandmother.

  3. April Olson June 13, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Yes, grandparents and birds, I think that generation was more connected to nature than newer generations of today.

  4. Patty Chadwick June 13, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Cedar waxwings are so sleek-looking they almost look as if they are made of wax. The only time I was lucky enough to see a flock of them was when I had just lost my job in a classic move of nepotism and had retired to a wilderness area to lick my wounds. Silently, just drifting along in a canoe, I saw a flock of them land in some berry bushes growing on a huge beaver lodge(snakes were sunning themselves on the lodge, too). It didn’t take long for the birds to completely clear the bushes of all the bright red berries. Just seeing them did wonders for my spirits…reminding me of what is really important. I will never forget that magic moment…or those birds….thank you for the reminder….

  5. Utahbooklover June 13, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Wonderful images on this welcomed (by the lawn) rainy day. Haven’t seen waxwings in awhile. Thanks!
    If anyone is wondering about their call: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OMvJL_GXIlc

  6. Jo Smith June 13, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Beautiful story and memory, my grandparents began my love of birds and nature at an early age. Their legacy lives on, the farm is now the Chaplin Nature Center outside of Arkansas City, KNS.

  7. suzanne Mcdougal June 13, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I think that I gained my tiny bit of artistic eye from my grandmother and my small knowledge of the natural world from my grandfather. I love that you shared that experience. It made me have “feels” of comfort that I can carry that legacy with me. Of course, I always carry the knowledge I get from you and Ron, now, too.

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