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Mystery Photo

1-12-15  mystery photo 025Who’s been here? Hint: This photograph was taken under a crab apple tree. Mystery will be solved in tomorrow’s post.

50 responses

  1. Cathy Minkiewicz

    Probably Robins. They arrived in my yard last week. They love holly berries too.

    January 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

  2. Sue

    I believe it is Cedar/Bohemian Waxwings feeding. Also could be Pine Grosbeaks. Sue Wetmore

    Sent from my iPod


    January 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm

  3. Val Cunningham

    Waxwings, either Cedar or Bohemian?

    January 12, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    • Marie Martell

      My guess is robins

      January 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm

  4. Bill & Cathy Emmons

    wild turkeys

    January 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

  5. Kathie Fiveash

    Flock of robins?

    January 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm

  6. Gail

    cedar wax wings….

    January 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm

  7. Suzanne

    The waxwing theory is of course the instinctive direction to go in, but crab apples seem awfully big for waxwings. Maybe they just peck at them, and thus all the debris. But Mary is usually trickier than that. I think it’s either a group of bigger birds (grosbeaks? blue jays? robins?) or a small mammal like a squirrel or porcupine. I’ve recently learned that even pileated woodpeckers will eat fruit in winter, so I don’t think this answer is going to surprise me, no matter how weird!

    January 12, 2015 at 2:10 pm

  8. Hope

    I saw a flock of robins in a crabapple tree just a couple of days ago.

    January 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

  9. Suzanne

    Looking more closely at the debris, I do see whole shriveled crab apples, but possibly more bark debris. I wonder if the crab apples on the ground are just incidental, and the main feeding (or rubbing) frenzy is bark or critters under bark.

    January 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm

  10. Bill On The Hill...

    I have old apple trees scattered around my property & have seen hairy woodpeckers plying their trade in this fashion on a regular basis, however, judging by the mess, it could be a mischievous red squirrel, blue jays perhaps?
    There is the possibility of wild turkeys having themselves a good meal too!
    The angle of the camera lens is making it difficult for me to discern those tracks in the snow…
    I wait with ” bated breath ” on this one!

    January 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

  11. Barb Cunningham

    Evening grosbeaks!

    January 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm

  12. My first thought was cedar waxwings so I’ll go with that answer, though I have a feeling that the correct answer may be less obvious, as other posters have indicated…

    January 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm

  13. Bill On The Hill...

    I am going with wild turkeys.
    Looking at the tracks in the snow at around the 8:30 position, I think I see the tell tale sign of a turkey track! BF… :~)

    January 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    • Suzanne L.

      That’s what I would say – having seen this under my own crabapples, which are still “young” & worrying that the turkeys were going to break the branches (they didn’t!).

      January 12, 2015 at 3:19 pm

  14. Suzanne

    I like the turkey guess, Bill on the Hill, and was thinking that myself earlier b/c of the hard crust/ice on the snow that’s making ground feeding tough for turkeys right now.

    January 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm

  15. Kit Pfeiffer

    Don’t see any large deer prints, so my guess is that a flock of Cedar Waxwings devoured the crabapples in one sitting.

    Love what you do!

    Kit Pfeiffer 85 Benner Lane Whitefield, ME 04353 207-446-9768


    January 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm

  16. Nan Childs

    My guess is Cedar Waxwings too… They seem to love crabapples, although I usually notice them eating crabapples later in the season when they sometimes exhibit “drunken” behavior from the fermented fruit. A flock of Robins? Thanks for the excitement of each mystery!

    January 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm

  17. My guess is a flock of robins or cedar waxwings. They tend to descend on fruit trees in winter and gorge for a few days until everything is gone.

    January 12, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  18. Joanna Frodin

    A snow shoe hare? We have one trying to eat birdseed on the ground because it is so cold.

    January 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm

  19. Ruth


    January 12, 2015 at 3:14 pm

  20. Tom Guglielmo

    A flock of wintering robins?

    January 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm

  21. laure

    I’m going to suggest squirrels (in Salem MA)

    January 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm

  22. Roseanne Saalfield

    woodpecker activities?

    January 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm

  23. My first thought, like many others here, was a flock of robins or waxwings but maybe that’s too obvious? Generally I don’t see or hear either of those at this time of year where I am in NH but this has been an odd winter …. looking forward to the answer (always enjoy your “mystery” posts Mary!)

    January 12, 2015 at 3:35 pm

  24. Jeff Robbins

    Pine Grosbeaks!?

    January 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm


    probably a flock of cedar waxwings, maybe with some Bohemians.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

    Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ Mary Holland posted: “Who’s been here? Hint: This photograph was taken under a crab apple tree. Mystery will be solved in tomorrow’s post.”

    January 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

  26. Sandra Ruggiero


    Sent from my iPhone


    January 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

  27. Dean and Susan Greenberg

    Porcupine although without evidence in the snow it’s hard to say!

    January 12, 2015 at 4:17 pm

  28. acadia94

    my guess is waxwings.

    susan thomas (grafton, mass)

    January 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

  29. Brenda Sloane

    How about American robins eating the crab apples?

    January 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  30. D Byers


    Breathe Peace Joy

    January 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  31. Squirrels?
    … something climbed the tree and had a feast ! tracks in snow look like rabbit..but closer to porcupine than squirrel..

    January 12, 2015 at 5:55 pm

  32. Hawkride Farm

    For years the crabapple in the back of the house has a lovely coat of macerated crab apples at its elegant feet. We’ve seen waxwings, robins, red and gray squirrels, deer, turkey, other usual suspects, in and under the tree. The funniest was a group of turkeys in the tree and two of them falling out of the tree into the soft, fluffy snow piled under the tree. The snow dust was the best as the turkey(s) flopped around to get their balance after the fall. We also have two adventuresome bobcats wandering around looking for voles. Could they be looking for a side dish of macerated crabby apples?! I’ve also heard bluebirds in our orchard (170 trees) with their bubbly calls. Can the bluebirds possibly be here in this brutal, icy cold? God bless ’em!

    January 12, 2015 at 5:58 pm

  33. Apple murder at our house has 3 prime suspects. Cedar waxwings, robins or grackles. Squirrels do sometimes hog them down but usually before the snow. I hate when the grackles get them first because I love to see cedar waxwings.

    January 12, 2015 at 6:44 pm

  34. Janice Vien

    Aftermath of cedar waxwings???


    January 12, 2015 at 1:59 pm

  35. Deb Schonberg

    Cedar Waxwings?

    January 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm

  36. Helen Gingras

    I don’t see deer tracks.

    January 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

  37. ELi & Tucker

    Ruffed grouse?

    January 12, 2015 at 5:32 pm

  38. Turkeys !

    January 12, 2015 at 5:39 pm

  39. Wild turkeys !

    January 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm

  40. Peter Kallin

    I would guess a flock of cedar waxwings, maybe with a few Bohemians in the mix.

    January 12, 2015 at 6:07 pm

  41. squirrel

    January 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm

  42. I also vote for squirrel. That’s who gets all the crabapples at my place, unfortunately. And that’s just what it looks like under my trees.

    January 12, 2015 at 7:56 pm

  43. Bob Olney

    A flock of over-wintering robins.

    January 12, 2015 at 10:12 pm

  44. Jake

    Cedar Waxwings

    January 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

  45. Robins.

    January 12, 2015 at 11:49 pm

  46. sara hart

    My guess is a grey fox

    January 13, 2015 at 8:22 am

  47. Cheryl Ring

    American Robins? Cedar Waxwings?

    January 13, 2015 at 6:42 pm

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