Sunday, February 13, 2011


 Bear's beloved Mountain Ash tree was stripped bare today by a marauding band of ravenous Bohemian Waxwings.

The foraging flock, numbering perhaps a hundred birds,
attacked the tree about 3:30 p.m. local time, 
wave, upon wave, upon wave. 
(Here is a close-up of one.)

By 3:45, only  a few scavengers could be seen,
cleaning up the few remaining berries on the ground.

The activity of the Bohemian Hoard had been reported 
in the local newspaper earlier. 
The onslaught was not unexpected.

J, our  Bear's  beloved spouse, quickly grabbed her camera, clicking photo after photo, mute witness to the onslaught. 

And where was Bear during the melee?
Hibernating in his Den. 
Proving once again that, "you snooze; you lose."
But he'll be delighted by the pictures when he wakes up. 
Very delighted.
After all, it was for events like today's that he planted 
the Mountain Ash in the first place. 
His simple goal — to attract Waxwings.

Report by Sadie B.; photography by J.B.


Natalie said...

Good one, Sadie and J.

Poor old Bearet missed the party. Berry sad for bears.

The Blog Fodder said...

That would have been something to watch. I hope they are not running out of trees with such a cold winter as you have had.

Tattieweasle said...

Relieved to hear the Bear will be pleased that his planning has brought about its desired outcome...must have been an amazing sight!

potsoc said...

Total success then. J seems a very good photographer, catching birds is not easy, you have to be very fast.

Gutsy Living said...

Those birds must have been starving.
Did it take them long to eat all those berries? Ask Mrs. J. please.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Love seeing the beautiful cedar waxwings come through and sorry that Bear missed the show... During the next few weeks the birds migrating from South America will be "landing" on Dauphin Island beach... The birders will be watching and counting to see if the Gulf oil spill has affected their numbers... keep your fingers (uh, paws) crossed, Sadie.


Rosaria Williams said...

That's quite an event! They must be super hungry, and your J was ready to witness.
Hope they didn't get you out of your stupor. You need your rest.
On the other hand, if you are awake, your Mrs could really use some help around the house on such a day.

Amanda Summer said...

will the mountain ash bloom ok come spring after it's been pillaged? maybe ask bear when he wakes up, miss sadie. good thing mrs. j bear was there with camera at the ready -- waxwings look like cute little birds in spite of their voracious behavior!

Brenda Susan said...

That had to be pretty noisy and exciting for you! Didn't you feel tempted to bark at them and send them on their way?

Jackie said...

Oh, but they love those berries....and they are red...and it's Valentine's Day!!
We had a holly tree at the elementary school....huuuuge one....filled with berries, and we (faculty members)would watch for "da birds"....because we moved our cars immediately when they swarmed in and devoured the berries. The call would come over the intercom," The birds are here!"... We knew what that meant!!!They left a mess behind....but how sweet they are to watch.
Happy hibernating.

Miss Sadie said...

® Natsy: Beary sad for Bear, indeed. But we can regale him with the story.

® BF: They travel in large flocks in the winter, and move from place to place. You might see them anywhere in the city.

® TW: Amazing sight, and sound. Their pleasant bell-like song just reverberates all over the place.

® Paul: J has a very simple camera, with which she is quite proficient, indeed.

Miss Sadie said...

® GW: Following the time line in the story, maybe twenty minutes, including clean-up. They'll eat all kinds of berries. Since there are many, and different, berry trees in public and private spaces, I doubt they'll go hungry.

® rosaria: When Bear is sleeping, I help out around the house. I love doing the dishes, but I won't go into details.

Miss Sadie said...

® amanda: The tree will do just fine in the spring. The only losers might be the pair of Robins who return yearly. If there's anything left over, the Robins will enjoy it.

® Brenda Susan: Even though I'm actually a bird dog, I tend to be in awe of them. They're beautiful! So I watch and say nothing. Too good an experience to spoil with loud noise.

Miss Sadie said...

® TP: Yes, they do leave a bit of a mess. But since there's mostly snow over grass in our place, we don't get worried. Small price to pay for the joy of seeing them!

Unknown said...

Wow, had no idea waxwings were so ravenous; must have been an awesome thing to behond.

RachelW said...

They have been here, too, plucking the mountain ash trees bare. Marauding birds!

Nancy said...

I was worried at first that they had demolished the tree! So happy to see it was just as planned. :-)

Miss Sadie said...

® GS: It was a sight worth seeing, Jane. But they don't come every year for some reason.

® Rachel: You need to get your cat out guarding your tree. But I suppose at this point it's a bit late for the suggestion.

® Nancy: No damage to the tree; everything is as it should be. Except Bear slept through it.

ain't for city gals said...

I would love to see that...reminds me of having a swarm of bees come down on our house one year..that was scary...and unexpected..

Tess Kincaid said...

Are you sure it wasn't just Hitchcock?

cheshire wife said...

I know how precious sleep can be but sometimes you just miss so much by being asleep.

Jackie said...

I love your blog background!!
Ms. Sadie, would you give C.o.t.R. a big nudge and wake him up! There's soooo much out there to be seen and written about!! Tell him we miss him.

Murr Brewster said...

They sure are natty. I love how they come in plagues.

Miss Sadie said...

® afcg: A massive swarm of bees! A year's worth of hunny all at one time! Hope you saved some.

® Tess: Heavens no! Hitchcock used crows. These were Waxwings. The two are virtually polar opposites.

® CW: At this point, Bear needs his rest. He'll love the pictures. Maybe next year he'll see the whole thing.

® TP: Thanks for the comment on the background.
Who is C.o.t.R?

® Murr: So glad you came by. Thank you. Wish Bear had been here to greet you personally (this is really his bog!). But, well, Bears, winter, hibernation. All very natural; I'm sure you understand.

Jackie said...

C.o.t.R. Chrome on the Range....