Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum are very social birds that often assemble into medium-sized flocks, especially in the winter. This happens to me regularly during the winter, I’ll be walking along, and suddenly, a flock of 30 to 40 cedar waxwings will burst out of a small oak tree next to me. This always amazes me, for one thing, how can that many birds hide in one small tree? How can I not see them before they take flight? I can’t answer those questions, it still happens to me.
I believe that the waxwings prefer small oaks and other trees that hold their leaves over the winter to help the birds hide, and to shelter them from cold winds.
For most of the year, Cedar Waxwings feed on berries, the list of which is way too long to go into here, suffice it to say that if you find one Cedar Waxwing feeding on a particular species of berry, you’ll probably find other waxwings feeding on the same ones. During their breeding season, and on into late summer, they also will eat insects, which are taken on the fly, most often, over a body of water. While I am kayaking, I’ll often see large flocks of Cedar Waxwings in the trees along the river or lake, and they will dart out to capture insects flying over the water, then the birds will return to the trees to await another insect flying past.
During courtship, males and females hop towards each other, alternating back and forth and sometimes touching their bills together. Males often pass a small item like a fruit, insect, or flower petal, to the female. After taking the fruit, the female usually hops away and then returns giving back the item to the male. They repeat this a few times until, typically, the female eats the gift. Sometimes, this takes place in trees as well, as you will see in one of the photos.
Speaking of which, here are a few photos.
This is number 19 in my photo life list, only 331 to go!
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!