Montpelier Wild No. 1: Waxwings

By Bryan on February 19, 2014

Here’s the first in a regular series on wildlife in the city’s wild places. You’ll learn what’s swimming, slithering, walking, hopping, flying or just sitting there in and around Montpelier parks.

They maraud around Montpelier like busy leaf-peepers. For the past few days at least 160 have been posting up on the maple in front of Kellogg-Hubbard Library, then swooping down in shifts to gulp squishy winter fruits from ornamental crabapples at 132 and 138 Main Street. The Cedar Waxwings are getting more work done than lawmakers here in Vermont’s state capital.

Here are a few images from today, including a Bohemian Waxwing (the final image) from several years ago by way of comparison. (Check out the black beret and black turtleneck on the Bohemian; no, actually, check out its cinnamon-colored undertail coverts and the white wing stripe.) An don’t wait to visit with these waxwings on Main Street – the fruits here will be gone in a day or two. After that, look for these birds along Stonecutter’s Way, maybe the Statehouse or your nearest crabapple.


  1. There have been waxwings on Fuller St. as well. Interesting that they go from our Norway Maple across the street to the crab apples. Maybe there is something good about a Norway Maple. Beautiful pictures, Bryan.

  2. Beautiful! Thanks Brian!

  3. Great pictures, Bryan! They were one of my favorite birds as a kid and finding a feather with the “wax” at the end was always so exciting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great post and photos, Bryan. I work at 140 Main and see these birds every year–haven’t caught them yet this year–perhaps they’ll stray a couple of doors down soon.

    • Hey, Rob. They come and go. Today should be a fine day for them in the angled light. Keep me posted!

  5. Stunning photos Thank you for posting.

  6. A couple of them made it to my crabapple on Crescent Lane, yesterday, along with more than 25 robins.

    • Thanks, Reg. A few Robins mixed with this flock as well.

  7. We had a large flock strip our crabapples here in Addison in December. Great fun to watch.

    • Great fun indeed, Becca. Thanks!

  8. lovely photos of a beautiful bird. i never get tired of seeing them even though they often hang out in adamant in large flocks for several months at a time…must be the berries…

    • … and the nice people :-)

  9. I work right down from the library and I even took a walk today but in a different direction. I hope they’re there tomorrow.

    • They come and go, Michele.

  10. Your pictures are great! I took a good one last fall as a large group fed from apple trees at the end of my street. Love their coloring.

    • They’re so elegant.

  11. Thank you – I’ve never been able to differentiate them easily – this will really help!

    • Different calls as well, Joan. Bohemians have almost a flat rattle call.


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