File this under Trivial, but it can be downright amazing how the internet allows you to discover things — sometimes without even trying. I hadn’t a clue what this species was — a lively flock of which showed up out of nowhere last week and took a serious liking to the berries in our frontyard camphor laurel tree — and I didn’t really care. The first day I saw the masked marauders feasting I didn’t drop everything and go googling after them.
But by total chance later that same day while scrolling through my Flickr contacts I came upon this photo taken by a gentleman named Gunnlaugur Juliusson who’s an economist in Iceland. It was titled “Silkitoppa” and was almost identical to the ones I’d seen. Googling the title I was shown it to be a Bohemian waxwing, and I was suitably impressed by this whole serendipitous worldwidewebthing.
Well wouldn’t you know the web wasn’t quite finished with the lesson. I hadn’t scrolled past another page of contacts on Flickr when coincidentally I find a thumbnail of a video by another contact named Mary Cummins of a hand holding what looks to be a Bohemian waxwing, and it’s titled “Jesse James Lets The Bird Go Free,” and yeah it’s that Jesse James of “Monster Garage” fame and Sandra Bullock infamy. But the waxwing he held was a bit different in color than the one from Iceland and thus it was that I came to learn of the Cedar waxwing, North American counterpart to the Bohemian. Gawd bless the internest.
And today the waxwings made a ruckus in the laurel tree and I managed to get that photo of one.