Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bohemian Waxwing

A Bohemian lives a vagabond life, and so it is with the waxwing of the same name. This bird forms winter flocks that search for fruit, which tends to be an unpredictable resource. Therefore the waxwing's winter range is also unpredictable. I saw them regularly in the winter in South Dakota, where I took this photo, but, in Minnesota, they seem to be found more often in the northern half of the state.

This love of fruit has some interesting consequences. Fruit tends to be abundant but local in distribution. Often waxwings do not return to the previous year's breeding grounds. Waxwings do not hold territories. They do not sing. Individuals seldom fight and, in fact, often feed each other fruit. As they search for food, waxwings usually travel in large flocks, which are perhaps better for discovering trees with fruit.

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