Sunday 2 January 2011

Adult Waxwings in gift-passing ceremony

Intriguing gift-passing behaviour was noted today as two adult Waxwings passed food to each other.  In BWP v.5, page 498, there are some exact illustrations showing what has been photographed below.  The female is the lower bird accepting the berry.  It is fairly obvious that there is some serious pair bonding happening.  After reading the text and then re checking the photo's, it seems that many of the images are actually showing other forms of ritual bonding, eg, the erect crest of the male, fluffing of the breast feathers, fluffing and ruffling the rump feathers, extended neck, the female quivering her wings and the pair sidling along the branch towards each other.   The lower photo shows the male ruffling his rump as she preens. 

(The berry passing images were taken by Brian Mellow through my camera and 300mm lens).


  1. Outstanding, you can't beat behaviour shots. I guess the clock is counting down to the breeding season.Of all the Waxwing shots I have viewed none are as interesting as these. I suppose the chance of witnessing this in Cornwall again are minimal.

  2. These are good, very good shots.

  3. There the sort of shots I spend my life looking for. Excellent.

  4. Absolutely breath taking images Steve.
    what a start to 2011.
    Happy New year.

  5. Without doubt, these are stunning images Steve. Confirmation that you are a master of your art. Fabulous!

  6. Stunning images mate.
    Happy new year