Artist Marjolein Bastin
Subject Location Missouri, USA
I heard their high-pitched calls well before I saw them: a group of Cedar Waxwings! I’ve seen them both in the Netherlands and the USA, but I recently noticed a subtle difference between the two: the waxwings we see during the winter in the Netherlands have a bit more white on their wings.
Their English name is Bohemian Waxwing, but if you translate their Dutch name literally it would be called a “plague-bird.” The Bohemian Waxwing used to be a very rare sight in the Netherlands and so people thought its presence meant something bad was about to happen. Like famine, or worse, the plague!
The name “waxwing” refers to the typical red tips at the end of the bird’s wing; they look as though they have been dipped in red wax. I suppose if we were to come up with a name for them today we would probably call them “plasticwing…”