Winter Birds of Red Butte Garden

Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Last Sunday while at the Red Butte Garden annual holiday open house, I abandoned my booth for a couple of forays out into the wintery garden in hopes of seeing and photographing birds. To my surprise I saw nine different species of birds within about twenty minutes.

I'm guessing that the gardens create a rare concentration of winter food, based on my experience that bird sightings in the Salt Lake City foothills are infrequent this time of year. At least, I haven't seen that kind of variety of birds in one place at one time in any of the other locations I've gone looking this time of year.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Red Butte Garden Annual Holiday Open House

Pfeiffer Arch, Big Sur, California

Please join me at the Red Butte Garden Annual Holiday Open House, Saturday and Sunday, December 7th and 8th, from 10am till 5pm. Admission to the gardens is free on these two days and you can shop for unique Christmas gifts from a select group of local artists, with 30% of the proceeds going to support Red Butte Garden. I'll be offering a wide range of photographic prints from note cards and small matted prints to large framed photographs and stretched canvases, as well as my unique photo transfers on stone, paper, wood, and metal. I'm excited to show some new work (like the image above) from a recent trip to the central California coast.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing, Salt Lake City, Utah

One morning in early June as I contemplated heading to the mouth of Emigration Canyon for a quick birding expedition, I noticed a commotion in the mulberry tree adjacent to and overhanging my back yard. Apparently the mulberries were at their peak of appeal to the neighborhood birds.

The commotion was twenty or so American robins battling for control of the tree and generally coming to rest in perfectly spaced zones until displaced by another robin entering their zone with a flourish of wing beats. Several other smaller species feasted as well, but with less bravado, including one of my favorites, the Cedar waxwing.

For about a week the mulberries were like candy to the birds, and the clear whistles of waxwings were constant. I photographed them several times during this week and was able to make a few nice portraits. This one is my favorite.