Friday, March 22, 2013

Cedar Waxwings but no Bohemians

Prior to the last couple of months we had been enjoying one of the best irruption years in recent memory with Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, Common Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills, White-winged Crossbills, Hoary Redpolls, and even Pine Grosbeaks making at least a brief appearance in Connecticut. Most avid birders had been able to see nearly that entire list of species if they put a little effort in, and many had spotted half of those at their own feeders. Hopes were high that we would continue this through the spring of 2013 and maybe add Bohemian Waxwings to the list. They are one of the toughest ticks in Connecticut.

Unfortunately they have avoided our state and a grand total of zero has been seen. It is not just us, though - essentially none have passed below the northern border of Massachusetts so far in 2013. The southernmost bird anywhere in the northeast region looks like it was one individual in Broome County, New York. Apparently they have found enough to dine on to our north. Nevertheless, at least Cedar Waxwings have begun to rise in sightings, and here are a couple photos of two of seven birds I found at Stratford Point on St. Patrick's Day.

They are definitely on the move and filtering back into the state. While some stay the entire winter feeding on our berries many Cedar Waxwings do migrate south. The birds I found seemed to be resting in what was a strong north wind. If you come across some Cedar Waxwings be sure to check them out so you do not miss a Bohemian mixed in the flock! It seems unlikely we will have any at this point but it is the time of year where turnover in individuals is high and birds are moving great distances.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos by Scott Kruitbosch © Connecticut Audubon Society and not to be reproduced without explicit CAS permission

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