Saturday, February 4, 2012

Power Struggle Over Yaupon Holly Berries.

We have a Yaupon Holly bush in my backyard. It reaches up to the second story at least. I didn't plant this shrub or small tree, as it has now become. I think the birds planted it by dropping berries. It just showed up one spring. I leave most of the volunteers in my yard. Mr. Bill would clear them out, but I always want to see what is growing.  I'm glad we didn't pull this out because I love what it has become. It is at the end of the walk down our side path. My little fountain sit beneath it.

When it was too tall to be a shrub we clipped all the lower branches to sculpt it into a tree. It is our only tree on that side of the yard. I love the textural quality of the branches. I have taken pictures of it many times. 

 In the spring.

During our big snow in February of 2010.
I am wild about this little corner of our yard and I love stuff that is free!
This bush is usually laden with berries during fall and winter. I clipped some and brought them in at Christmas but I didn't cut too many because I was saving the branches for the foray that I knew was coming.
I've noticed it in years past and this year I was ready for it. The Cedar Waxwings and Robins love this bush. 
Cedar Waxwing 
Saturday the weather was lovely and Mr. Bill and I were enjoying our garden room. You may remember my makeover for a piece in that room. Here.
We heard a raucous of bird noise and I knew the time had come. I was waiting. 
I knew there were too many plump berries on that bush.

Many years ago I received this book as a gift.
It started me on a quest to be a backyard birder. I wanted to have berries and birds just like this cover. I don't know if this picture is accurate because our Chickadees eat seeds not berries. Hmm.

I went outside and the yard was full of birds, Robins were all over the Yaupon. The Cedar Waxwings were watching from the neighbors tree. Other birds were eating from the feeder. I went up to my bathroom window to try to get some good shots. 
The waxwings were hard to get. 
 But I did get some of the Robins. 
They worked on the bush for a few hours. The Robins really had control of most of the time. The Waxwings seemed more polite, taking turns intermittently. 

I give it about a week and all the berries will be gone. 

As I have waited this winter for the birds, I remembered trying to take pictures of them a couple of years ago without success. I wondered if the date they came through then was consistent with Saturday's date. 
Wouldn't you know? I took the failed pictures on January 27th 2010. They migrated through my yard Saturday, January 28th.   
Is that amazing to anyone else or just a birder?
I love that birds know what they are doing and make a consistent trip through my yard yearly. The drought and wacky winter we had didn't impact the migration of these birds and thankfully didn't affect the number of berries we had. I saw a few Cedar Waxwings the Saturday before but they didn't eat from the bush. I wonder if they were scouts. 

Sprinkled with berries and birds,

Update: This picture taken this morning. There is not a berry on this bush. 
This picture is taken through glass. I am definitely not a bird photographer. 

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