An “Ear-full” of Cedar Waxwing Photographs

/, Cedar Waxwings, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, Utah/An “Ear-full” of Cedar Waxwing Photographs

An alert Cedar Waxwing, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahAn alert Cedar Waxwing – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC,  natural light

Since a flock of waxwings can be called an “ear-full” of waxwings I thought I’d share a group of Cedar Waxwing photos I have taken over the last month in a canyon in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City. I’ve been heading up there a lot to escape the heat in the valley, to get away from the biting bugs at several places where I like photograph birds at and to avoid areas that used to be peaceful and are now high traffic areas whether that traffic is from vehicles or herds of cattle set loose on a refuge.

Typically I hear waxwings well before I see them, so they do give me an “ear-full”. It has come to my attention lately that not everyone can hear the high-pitched calls of these waxwings and I do realize how fortunate I am that I can. The ability to hear them helps me with locating these birds because they can blend into their habitat quite easily.

This photo was taken on June 11th and the waxwing was perched on a branch in front of the brightly lit leaves of a hawthorn tree. I’m happy that the tree was far enough away that the leaves are really out of focus and not distracting, any closer and they could have been.

Cedar Waxwing with dark background, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahCedar Waxwing with dark background – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC,  natural light

On the 15th of June I was able to photograph this Cedar Waxwing with a relatively dark background where the bird was nicely illuminated by the morning sun. I like the head angle of the bird, how well the bird stands out and the nice eye contact.

Cedar Waxwing with blue background, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahCedar Waxwing with blue background – Nikon D500, f9, 1/1250, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC,  natural light

Lately I’m not too keen on photographing birds with plain blue skies in the background but when there are some distant clouds a blue background can have a nice gradient to it that I quite like for my bird photos. This photo was taken on June 19th just as I was about to leave the canyon, I spotted the bird on a dead bush next to the road and I felt that I had to take images of it before I drove home.

Cedar Waxwing perched on a thin branch, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahCedar Waxwing perched on a thin branch – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC,  natural light

On the 20th of June I saw this Cedar Waxwing perched on a thin branch while another waxwing was nearby. I like the gradient tones in the background, the alert pose of the bird and how well the yellow, waxy tips of its tail shows. I still have a bunch of images of this bird I need to go through because it gave me so many different poses, I am sure I will be posting more photos of this waxwing down the road.

Cedar Waxwing with plain green background, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahCedar Waxwing with plain green background – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC,  natural light

On the 22nd of June I was delighted to take photos of this Cedar Waxwing against a plain green background while it perched on a dead branch that jutted out from the main part of a tree, the distant willows behind the bird gave me this smooth background behind the bird.

Adult Cedar Waxwing perched above Black Twinberry Honeysuckle, Little Emigration Canyon, Summit County, UtahAdult Cedar Waxwing perched above Black Twinberry Honeysuckle – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC,  natural light

And on July 2nd I watch two Cedar Waxwings foraging for berries in a clump of Black Twinberry Honeysuckle when one of the birds popped up onto a branch in the open where it shows the very out of focus other waxwing still foraging in the twinberry in the frame.

I hope I will be able to take many more photos of the Cedar Waxwings I find in the canyon this summer and who knows, I might get lucky and find them feeding their young out in the open too. That would be marvelous to see and photograph.

Life is good.

Mia

P.S., the iBird Pro app is great for finding out what different groups of birds are collectively called. I love the convenience of using this app, the great photos, information and calls that is has. If I could only have one bird guide app it would be this one.

8 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte July 9, 2018 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Mia, before I started following your posts…I had never heard of the Cedar Waxwing. Now, thanks to your beautiful images and commentary…they are among my faves. Thanks.

  2. Elephants Child July 6, 2018 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Lovely things.
    And I am an addict of collective nouns.

  3. Marty K July 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Delightful! I love all the different poses, perches, and backgrounds! Not only an “ear-full,” but also an “eye-full!” 🙂

  4. Patty Chadwick July 6, 2018 at 9:47 am - Reply

    SMOOOOTH!!!!

  5. Stu July 6, 2018 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Thanks very much for posting your excellent images of these beautiful birds and also for the information you provided. Cedar waxwings game to eat Mountain Ash berries before we lost that backyard tree years ago.

    • Stu July 6, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Please excuse the typo. The birds came (not game) to eat berries.

  6. Kathleen M Finnerty July 6, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Amazing, as always!

  7. Bob mcpherson July 6, 2018 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Beautiful by photos, Mia.

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