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Old 10-14-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
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Default Cedar waxwings

Learning about individual species can help us make decisions in our wildlife gardening. And it is nice to see research mentioning the result of efforts by conservationists and home gardeners working to create habitat in the human landscape. The highlighting in the quotes is mine.



Cedar Waxwing, Life History, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Quote:
•Cedar Waxwings with orange instead of yellow tail tips began appearing in the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada in the 1960s. The orange color is the result of a red pigment picked up from the berries of an introduced species of honeysuckle. If a waxwing eats enough of the berries while it is growing a tail feather, the tip of the feather will be orange.
Quote:
•The Cedar Waxwing is one of the few North American birds that specializes in eating fruit. It can survive on fruit alone for several months. Brown-headed Cowbirds that are raised in Cedar Waxwing nests typically don’t survive, in part because the cowbird chicks can’t develop on such a high-fruit diet.
Quote:
habitat
Cedar Waxwings inhabit deciduous, coniferous, and mixed woodlands, particularly areas along streams. You may also find them in old fields, grasslands, sagebrush, and even along desert washes. With the spread of ornamental berry trees in landscaping, Cedar Waxwings are increasingly common in towns and suburbs. In winter, Cedar Waxwings are most abundant around fruiting plants in open woodlands, parks, gardens, forest edges, and second-growth forests. Birds that winter in the tropics tend to inhabit highlands.
Quote:
The increases in Cedar Waxwing populations are probably in part because of reversion of fields to shrublands and forests and the use of berry trees such as mountain ash in landscaping. Cedar Waxwings are vulnerable to window collisions as well as being struck by cars as the birds feed on fruiting trees along roadsides.
Nice list of credits if you want to read more.

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Old 10-14-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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I've been lucky enough to see cedar waxwings here on our property several times. I expect to see them more and more frequently as my native berry-producers start to mature...and as I add more berry-producing species in the years to come.

I've been waiting impatiently for my blackgum trees to be mature enough to bear fruit. The wait continues, but at least some of them are now taller than I am. I'm sure they will be a big hit with the cedar waxwings as well as other fruit-lovers--especially my beloved bluebirds.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting this, Gloria Waxwings are one of my favorite birds and it's interesting to learn more about them.

We usually get a flock in the early summer when the Juneberry has berries. They clean it out in a matter of days and it's right by my screened porch so I can sit there and watch/listen to them.

I have not noticed them when the elderberry has fruit. Guess they are not nearby then.

They like out white mulberry tree as well. That is part of the reason it is still standing although I have always disliked that tree. It's coming down soon, though, to be replaced with an oak and some understory things.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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I like the sound they make.


ww
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:31 PM   #5
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Default Cedar Waxwings at Tillman Swamps

I just saw this thread about Cedar Waxwings, which became my favorite bird this summer. Why? Because I've been wanting to see them forever but only rarely got the chance. This year, our favorite swamp near Buffalo seemingly had thousands! They cedar waxwing fledges were learning to fly, but staying near their favorite swamp bushes where we could get great views of them!

A few weeks after all their playing about, they got more independent and flew all around the swamp. I could lift my binoculars and the air was full of them! Quite amazing! I do hope they repeat the experience next spring and summer!

Cedar waxwings-cedar-waxwing.jpg

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Cedar waxwings-p1890154-version-2.jpg
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Continued:

Cedar waxwings-p1890236-version-2.jpg

Cedar waxwings-p1890608-version-2.jpg

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Old 10-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #7
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Nice pictures Sage. You really captured the color on this amazing bird. I noted the tail feathers are yellow so these birds are not dipping into the invasive honeysuckle which the article said would give them orangey tail feather tips.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:14 PM   #8
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Beautiful photos of a beautiful bird, Sage! Thanks for sharing them .
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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Great shots, Sage...thanks for sharing them and your story. That must've been an awesome experience.
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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Yes it was! We went out there frequently, did lots of photography, and I'm so hoping there is a repeat next year. That was the best show all summer!
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