Starting in the Fall, my part of the country can look forward to a visit from hordes of cute birdies called Cedar Waxwings. They're called that, supposedly, because the bright yellow they sport on their tail looks like drips of wax. Kinda does.
Whilst strolling through my neighborhood just now I heard their VERY distinctive call. Doesn't really sound like a bird call, more like a high pitched tweedle, for want of a better word. When you hear it, you know there are waxwings around, probably all perched at the top of a tree. And there they were:
As I got closer I knew they'd take off; they're pretty skittish. So I was ready to snap them just as they decided to leave:
More than most, these guys really like to form flocks (or swarms, as a dynamicist would say) and they move about as if controlled by a single intelligence. There are lots of examples of multi-body systems in the world and these guys are a particularly attractive one. That's why I decided to feature them as the chapter opener on one of my books. Streaks of brown and yellow against a cloud filled blue sky. Pretty nice.
Of course, for that shot I was using something a little bit upscale from my iPhone. They don't make it easy.
Wait, what's that you say? You still can't really tell what they look like? Ah, okay. Maybe this will help:
Up close and personal. Wax on, wax off.