Some blog topics just present themselves to me. A fox runs across the road leading me to her kits. Twin fawns appear outside my study window. Others I have to work for. But when I lived in Northport, I learned over time where various wildlife habitats were so I could seek out topics.
When I first saw this bird from a distance, I thought it was a cardinal. Same basic shape. Crested head. But the mask seemed somehow wrong.
When I got home, I went to my bird apps. I looked at the cardinal description and then at birds similar to cardinals. I learned that this was a Cedar Waxwing. The mask was the identifier. On the Cardinal, the mask covers the eye and the chin. On the Cedar Waxwing, the mask is like a bandit’s mask, Lone Ranger style.
The Cedar Waxwing's coloring is different too, although the main body color is similar to the female Cardinal. The Waxwing’s underbody is a buff or yellow color. The tail is yellow-tipped.
I’ve lived in Traverse City for seven months now and I’m just beginning to compile a few locations where I can count on finding wildlife habitats. I photographed the Sandhill Cranes, Great Blue Heron, and this Cedar Waxwing from one of those locations. That’s making my photography and blog work more fun and interesting. And probably for you too.
Mike Terrell, Record-Eagle outdoor columnist, said in a recent column, “Up north can be like a tug on the soul. It calls to them, and it’s the anticipation of getting away to their favorite getaway spot that keeps them going.” I couldn’t agree more.