Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Life is Good"

I think that must be the motto for the entire Cedar Waxwing species. In April, we watched them plucking apple blossom petals and eating them like potato chips.

For the past few days, a large flock has been frequenting our favorite mulberry tree...the one whose berries we sell at Farmer's Market and (in the past) to high-end restaurants. It is incredibly thick with berries, from tiny and green to big and pinkish. It is always the first fruit to ripen in the area, and the birds love it. I always fear they will eat all the fruit, but they never do. Soon they'll move on to cherries....

Cedar waxwings are one of my favorite birds, and I watch them whenever I can. But this bunch has been persistent enough that sometimes I do kind of ignore them, aside from saying "Please just eat the berries I can't reach, and leave the lower ones for me to pick."

I was charging towards the tree the other day on my way to the house for something, and the flock startled and wafted over to the top of a nearby elm where they often take refuge.

Except for two of them. They were oblivious, engaged in their own little dance.

Obviously it was a courting (or mated) pair. They sat wing to wing on a horizontal dead twig. Left would take a giant sideways hop away from Right, gaze over its shoulder at Right, and then take a giant hop back so they were wing to wing again. They would "bill" each other with coy little kissing motions. Then Right would take a giant hop sideways away from Left, gaze over at Left for a moment, and then hop back wing to wing. More smooching. Then Left would take a giant sideways hop.... This went on for quite awhile, over and over. Fascinating to watch.

Something very touchingly human about their little dance. Together, apart, together, apart. Maybe, maybe not.

And yet, not so human. No big emotional drama in all of it.

At least not that I could tell. But then, I'm just a human.

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