Wednesday, November 2, 2011


      Cedar Waxwings on a Cedar.  They were gobbling berries and distressing the Mockingbird.  Last year around this time, I made a note and that note is probably somewhere.  Usually they loiter a week or two and then off they go south where others too might make a note of their presence. 

      I'd like to say that first sightings of Cedar Waxwing coincide with first sightings of  Snowbird.  But to do that, I'd have to do more than just make notes.  I'd have to keep those notes safe enough to find them again.  This pretending I can remember such things, fools no one.

      Here were I live we are right on the northern edge of the Cedar Waxwing's winter home, which extends all the way to South America and includes Caribbean Islands.  But the more interesting thing about Cedar Waxwing is their diet. 

     Amongst birds the odd insect is always necessary for a balanced diet, but Cedar Waxwing feed mostly upon fruit.  This means that when a Cowbird lays her egg in a Cedar Waxwing nest, the odds are the Cowbird chick will not survive the diet. To my mind a wonderful thought.

      Then there is the issue of Honeysuckle.  Some Cedar Waxwings have orange on the tip of their tail.  I am told this comes from eating too many Honeysuckle berries while tail feathers are growing.
     
       And sometimes Cedar Waxwing get drunk from eating rotten fruit, which makes for unruly behaviors that can end badly.  But ours is a dry county, so there is none of that sort of nonsense here.