Monday, July 28, 2008

Flying bandits and Federation Squirrels


One of the rest stops we stopped at in Iowa, on our way home from vacation, had about 20 Cedar Waxwings. Of course, I ran and got my camera and made the guys wait while I admired them. They were a little shy, but still so beautiful! This was the second time in month I got to admire the Waxwings, even though I had never seen them before.


I think they like the berries.


In fact, they get their name from their red wax-like wing tips and because they eat small blueberry-like cones of the cedar.


They’re mostly seen in flocks and will eat insects when berries can’t be found.


I love the splash of yellow on the tips of their tails amongst all their earth toned feathers. And their bandit-like black masks; they’re like tiny flying raccoons.


They are so majestic!



Another little treat at another Iowa rest stop - - - wait, no, I don’t “go” that much, but we were caching and while the guys ran to find the caches I looked for critters. I spotted this curious Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel.


Sometimes people call them striped gophers but they aren’t a gopher.  They're also called Federation Squirrels because the spots and stripes resemble the stars and stripes of the American flag.



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  2. Caching? I don't believe I'm familiar with that term...except for when using a computer. I've not ever seen a Cedar Waxwing...pretty. Neither have I ever seen a Federation Squirrel, so this post was full of learning for me!

  3. We get the waxwings down here and am always kind of fascinated by them. Very pretty!

  4. Wow! Those pictures look like you were standing inches away. I'm always amazed at how crisp and clear your images are. That squirrel is too cute. I've never seen one but I've read that they are quite funny to watch. Do you find the cache? LOL

  5. Love the Waxwing! I saw my 1st this weekend, though I didn't get a usable photo - but at least I saw 'em! :)
    And the squirrel is just gorgeous! Excellent Photography! Bravissimo!
    Cheers, Klaus

  6. Love the waxwigs and I soooo could scoop up that squirrel and bring it home! I love me some cute critters. Unlike the critters I blogged about today *gag*.

  7. Oh, I forgot. If you were serious about bird pics, I have a wren pic I could sent to you that is quite cute. If you'd like it here is the link to flickr


  8. What a handsome squirrel, Lisa. I like how you got the waxwing in a variety of poses.

  9. Never even heard of either of them animals. The Federation squirrel kind of looks like a chipmunk.

    Great pics Lisa!

  10. How did you even know what that was, I would have said chipmunk. You wouldn't believe the critters coming out of the woods by my parents' apt. That is a noble looking bird and quite pretty.

  11. It's like a petting zoo post..I wanted to smell the flowers and pet the animals..

  12. Great shots of the waxwings, I haven't seen many around this year. I went down to the refuge the other day. There had to be 200 barn swallows. But I am sorry to say, there had to be 200 million greenhead and black flies. I wasn't able to get out of car to get any pictures. :-( next time.

  13. OOHH pretty birds!! never have seen them..but the little gophers i used to catch when they were babies and raie them!! they became such good pets they were so tame and it didn't take them long to be tame either! I love them to this day!!

  14. Thanks for these, Lisa. They are all wonderful. I feel like I am with these critters when I look at your pictures.

  15. Lisa, I love your pics. Almost makes me want to get my camera fixed. Wonderful blog

  16. You have such a wonderful ‘eye’ for photographs and share so beautifully. These birds, flower & squirrel pictures are all lovely. Thanks! I love the macro shots of the bee today too ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  17. Terrific pictures! I've never seen a Cedar Waxwing but always thought their coloring was so beautiful in pictures.

    Our family letterboxes, so understand all the stops! And WOW, the things we see that we wouldn't have without this hobby!

  18. stars and stripes...

    Your topic Greenwich Pays Tribute to Veterans | Navy SEALs Blog by ... was interesting when I found it on Saturday searching for stars and stripes as I also have articles and information posted on this subject. Thank You... Steve Noel Sr....