Monday, January 03, 2011

Callery pears

Of the Callery pear (I'm adding that in the US, the Bradford is the best known of these pears), Wikipedia says "The fruit is less than one centimeter in diameter, hard, almost woody until softened by frost, after which it is readily taken by birds."

Readily indeed.

My father has a large one in his front yard, and after the hard frost of mid-December it has become quite attractive to birds. Robins, starlings, and cedar waxings - plus the odd stray blackbird - have been all over it in waves. Here are some photos from the past week.

First, one of the many robins and two blackbirds - unfortunately, they were at the periphery of the birds I was shooting, so they're unfocussed. But I think they're Brewer's blackbirds (I might have thought brown-headed cowbirds except for the pale eyes) - though Rusty blackbird has been suggested to me, and is probably the right identification:

robins and blackbirds under the pear
Another robin under the pear, with a mourning dove in the background this time:

robins under the pear

Here are some robins in the pear, in the snow:

robin in the pear
robin in the pear

and after it melted:

robin in the pear
A couple of shots of starlings:

several starlings in the pear

starling in the pear
And then the cedar waxwings!

cedar waxwings in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

cedar waxwing in the pear

This one's my favorite...

cedar waxwing in the pear

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At 8:26 AM, January 04, 2011 Anonymous Mark had this to say...

It's cherry laurels around here. My parents had a large cherry laurel outside the sliding glass door in their dining room. One winter day a huge flock of cedar waxwings descended on it to eat the berries. I had never seen one before and haven't seen any since, but I knew immediately what it was.

At 4:14 AM, January 08, 2011 Blogger Larry had this to say...

I had never heard of Callery Pears but if I had some, I guess I would get Cedar Waxwings visiting. What a treat Ridger!

I agree with your Brewer's Blackbird ID. Rusty Blackbirds are actually rust colored in the winter (non-breeding plumage).

I like that last shot of the Cedar Waxwing too. It really shows their colors nicely, including the red inside the mouth.


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