Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Day With Bohemians and a Quiz Raptor

Today I did something radical. Instead of going right to Quidi Vidi lake after dropping my fiancee off at work,I went in search of Bohemian Waxwings. Over the last week or so there has been an invasion of these birds into eastern Newfoundland. This in itself, is not surprising, but usually they show up in December or early January, gorge themselves on Mountain Ash berries then move on. This year, they're over a month later than normal and they don't have any food,because we had an abysmal Mountain Ash crop this year.

So, this means there are lots of starving Waxwings. I heard of a lady who was feeding waxwings yesterday and today I decided to help her out by bringing a bag of apples and maybe I'd take a few photos as well ;) I cut a few apples in half, impaled them on a hedge and within 5 minutes the Waxwings appeared and began feeding hungrily on the apples.It was amazing to basically stand among the birds as they fed totally unconcerned by my presence. Ive had Waxwings over winter in my garden in the past and it's my experience that they get tame fairly;y quickly once they realize your the one providing the food. I actually spent most of the time I was there just enjoying the bird and kind of forgot to take photos. Below are a few I did get.

While I was spending some time with the BOWA's I noticed a raptor soaring high above. To be more specific, it was an Accipiter, but which one? My first impression was that this was a decent sized bird that was definitely crow sized or approaching crow sized. Then again impressions can be deceiving. I flip flopped a bit on this identification. Aside from size, which is not useful in a photo of a single bird, what can you make out about the birds tail shape, overall jizz etc.What do you think? Any remarks about this bird id are gladly welcomed and appreciated. Below are some distant photos of the bird in question.


  1. Hi Dave,
    Good to see you're back to posting.
    I also flip-flopped on the ID of this one but have settled with SSHawk. The tail looks more squared than rounded, and the head/neck seem relatively small.
    take care,

  2. Hey,

    Good to hear from you. Get in touch when your back in NL next time and we can do some birding.Nice website btw.

  3. I'm in Newfoundland as well and have had Waxwings in my garden for several days now. They are a beautiful bird.

  4. my son and I hand fed starving Waxwings sounds like you could do the same. Love your photos. cheers! my photos...