Cedar Waxwings

I’m so happy to have these Cedar Waxwings visiting our back yard! The first time I saw them, there were only a few in one of our trees (that’s when I captured the last picture below). Today, I heard a bit of of commotion, looked out the window, and found them hunkering down in the snow flurries along with a flock of robins.

Since we don’t typically see them around here, I feel especially lucky to have them coming by to hang out in the trees out back! I assume they’re migrating… Do you know more about these birds? I’ve been learning more from these sites:

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Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
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Bombycilla comes from the Ancient Greek bombux, “silk” and the Modern Latin cilla, “tail”; this is a direct translation of the German Seidenschwanz, “silk-tail”, and refers to the silky-soft plumage of these birds. The specific cedrorum is Latin for “of the cedars”. WIKI
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“Part of waxwing family of passerine birds”(or perching birds or songbirds)
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“Outside the breeding season, cedar waxwings often feed in large flocks numbering hundreds of birds.”
“When a male waxwing sets out in search of a mate, it often carries a berry – passed to a female bird in an effort to impress her.” Check out more information HERE
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“Spiritualists believe waxwings to be a symbol of selfless generosity.” – James Common

I hope they happen by again tomorrow! Here’s to more backyard birding! 🐦🔭🏡

Is the Blue Jay your totem?

In looking up facts about Blue Jays, I found it interesting to learn about the symbolism associated with this beautiful bird.

Because of behavioral traits such as talkative, socially vigilant, resourceful, trustworthy, curious, diligent and intelligent, I think the Blue Jay would be an admirable animal totem. 😁 What’s your animal totem?

A blue jay animal totem flies into your life to teach the importance of using your intelligence to learn quickly and being able to adapt to any situation. It has a passion for investigating, thus utilizing adaptive skills and constantly learning new ideas and concepts. It allows us to access memories that we have long forgotten and shows how to adopt them into our awareness. – Leah M Bostwick
https://www.sunsigns.org/blue-jay-animal-totem-symbolism-meanings/

Blue Jay I  (Cyanocitta cristata)

It typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground, though it sometimes hawks insects from the air. #wiki

Blue Jay II (Cyanocitta cristata)

The blue jay is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to North America #wiki

Blue Jay III (Cyanocitta cristata)

Like other corvids, they may learn to mimic human speech. Blue jays can also copy the cries of local hawks so well that it is sometimes difficult to tell which it is #wiki

Bandelier National Monument

If you’re ever near Los Alamos, New Mexico, stop in and visit Bandelier National Monument in the beautiful Frijoles Canyon.

The monument preserves the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans of a later era in the Southwest. Most of the pueblo structures date to two eras, dating between 1150 and 1600 AD.” #wiki

Though there are over 70 miles of hiking trails, when we visited some years back, we visited only the Main Loop trail to see and tour the interesting cliff dwellings and the ruins of Tyuonyi (chew-OHN-yee) pueblo.

More info on the monument and park here:
History & Culture – Bandelier National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

View of Tyuonyi pueblo ruins

View of Tyuonyi pueblo ruins

Pictograh and Viga holes

Pictograh and viga holes used to hold the dwellings’ supports

Frijoles Canyon

Frijoles Canyon view from inside a cavate

Inside the Came room

Inside the Came room (a.k.a. cavate)

Volcanic Tuff cliff

Volcanic Tuff cliff formed from the Jemez Volcano over one million years ago

Inside the Cavate

Inside the cacate – plastered walls and smoked ceilings.

Volcanic Tuff cliffs

Volcanic Tuff cliffs

Tree Cholla cactus

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) cactus in front of Alcove House

More info on the monument and park here:
History & Culture – Bandelier National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

Huaca Pucllana

This was such a neat place to see right in the center of Lima, Miraflores. “possibly from Quechua wak’a a local shrine to a protector deity, a sacred place, sacred, pukllana game” #wiki. It’s very well preserved but there is also work being done to restore parts of the pyramid that do need repaired. Pre-Inca temple approx 400 AD, made of millions of clay/adobe bricks. There is a small portion of the grounds dedicated to a garden and pens for a few resident chickens, guinea pigs and of course llamas and alpacas.