The Odd Sisters

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I photographed Carla Wynona and Celine Wendy (two juvenile Cedar Waxwings who may or may not be females) several times over the span of a minute. They never moved! Not even their heads. Not even their eyelids! My five photographs, 10 seconds apart, look exactly the same. I’ve never seen such still little perching birds before.

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15 Comments

  1. They were ready for their close-up. Great photograph! Lovely pair.

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    1. Thanks Haunani :-). They did give me an excellent photographing opportunity – totally still and completely visible!

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  2. Was there a hawk around? Very cool!

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    1. That’s a good question! It’s so fascinating the way birds just totally freeze when a hawk is around.

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    2. That makes total sense! I watched the birds from across the river for a while – total bird fiesta. I crossed the bridge to the other side – bird fiesta still going on. I watched the bird fiesta for about 10 minutes and then no bird sounds and no flying. I thought perhaps it was a group food coma but a hawk does sound more plausible. I didn’t hear a crow or magpie warning though (they usually make a huge fuss about birds of prey), but I could have been too engrossed in watching the bird fiesta to notice.

      All the birds went into hiding except for these “two sisters”, the two Baltimore Orioles and a partially leaf-obscured adult Cedar Waxwing. Except for one of the orioles, who moved his head and eyelids, all the other birds were quite still.

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      1. Wow. Yeah, that is always amazing whenever we see it here in our backyard – they all freeze. Then we just look for the hawk. Often we don’t see him/her. But it’s interesting your note about the crows – this happens quite a lot here too. Those crows are brave!!!

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        1. Thanks for sharing your hawk freeze experience. I’ll know to look for a hawk next time. I don’t think hawks usually attack adult crows… but it ain’t pretty when they do.

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  3. Fascinating…I wonder if their mother taught them that ?

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    1. I wonder… It kind of looks like they are teaming up for increased joint peripheral vision.

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  4. What a pair of cutie-pies! I also wonder what Laura wondered. πŸ™‚

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    1. Next time I see birds freeze, I’ll look for a hawk. I didn’t think of that at all then. I usually associate a hawk with crows or magpies cawing wildly (and I once heard an American Robin tweeting wildly about a Merlin). It is possible that I was so enthralled by all the feathered cuties enjoying the dark purple berries that I didn’t hear any warning caws, tweets or squeaks. Or maybe the birds just wanted me to go away?

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      1. LOL! No, the birds love you…I’m sure of it! πŸ™‚ The more raucous birds will sound alarms, but I’ve noticed that smaller birds just go really still and really quiet a lot of the time when a hawk is near.

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        1. Sometimes the birds stop singing when I get too close. I’m now working on staying within singing distance. I heard an awesome chorus of chickadees and nuthatches today. And then some guy started his lawnmower!

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