With Spring in full swing, nature’s critters are extremely busy building nests and bringing in the next generation. I have seen several species this Spring that I didn’t see a lot of last year. One that sticks out for me is the Cedar Waxwing. A treat to find in your viewfinder, the Cedar Waxwing is a silky, shiny collection of brown, gray, and lemon-yellow, accented with a subdued crest, black mask, and brilliant-red wax like droplets on the wing feathers. Cedar Waxwings are social birds that you’re likely to see in flocks year-round. They sit in fruiting trees swallowing berries whole, or pluck them in mid-air with a brief fluttering hover. They also patrol over water for insects, flying like tubby, slightly clumsy swallows.
I have been lucky enough to have several encounters, and thus “photo sessions”, with this marvelous winged wonder so far this season. For the most part, they just went about their business feeding on berries as long as I kept my respectable distance. As a wildlife photographer, learning how to approach wildlife and becoming in tune with your subjects behavior in relationship to your actions, is key to being not only being a successful nature photographer, but doing so in a responsible manner in regards to the well being of the wildlife you are attempting to photograph.
In the image above, I wanted to capture the bird in its natural environment while feeding. It was fluttering around between branches, and I quickly saw the opportunity to slow my shutter speed and capture the Waxwing’s wings in motion while rendering the body and head sharp. With this image, I saw the perfect chance to frame the bird between the branches while trying to keep its balance on a branch that was a wee bit small to be calling a perch. Thank you nature, for a comical opportunity admiring one of the most beautiful birds around.