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Old 06-13-2012, 11:43 PM   #21
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...Well, another two. I took these the same day...from even more of a distance. These are not clear either, and I have an idea what they could be, but I'd love to get your opinions as well.
Cedar waxwings? Are these photos from winter? I just ask because the tree looks bare.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:38 AM   #22
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Yep, definitely cedar waxwings, a bird I would LOVE to attract to my yard.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #23
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Cedar waxwings? Are these photos from winter? I just ask because the tree looks bare.
That was what I was hoping they were!

The tree is bare because it died in me last year--it was a fairly large elm tree. I have several elms in the yard...one that is pretty mature and a beautiful shape...I'm hoping that they are all the native kind...and that if the mature one lasted this long it will be fine.

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Yep, definitely cedar waxwings, a bird I would LOVE to attract to my yard.

Keep up the good work!

...And disuhan confirms it. . Yay!

I was thinking and hoping that is what they might be...frome where I was I just saw the movement of them and took the pics. After uploading them and cropping them, I wondered if they were immature cardinal males made to look golden in the evening light...but hoped they were cedar waxwings.

After posting the picture yesterday, I noticed not only that they really resembled the waxwings, but that there was also a third one in the picture. Very exciting...I always read about waxwings showing up to strip a tree of berries, then moving on..I'd love to have them as more permanent residents or at least frequent visitors.

I can't wait until my black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) are mature enough to fruit.

Thanks, I will keep up the good work...but I'm not sure I've done enough yet to take credit for the visitors that show up from the fairly natural area that surrounds me. I will take credit for the cavity nesters we have...because they are using the boxes I provided. I would like to think that my "management" of the yard might have something to do with my visitors. . So, thanks again.

I know I get sappy sometimes, but thank you also to the people who brought us this wonderful site, maintain it, and those who post and share....reading and sharing here brings more joy to the whole process of gardening for wildlife.
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Last edited by dapjwy; 06-14-2012 at 11:22 AM. Reason: fixing quote
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #24
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Cedar waxwings move through in flocks. We have them a lot around here. They visit our crabapple, and in the neighborhood they visit sumac and anything else with berries. I think around here they also help spread buckthorn (along with robins), even though they're great birds --- I'm not knocking them!

I realize you're not too keen on bird songs (that's ok!) but just wanted to mention that you know a waxwing flock is around when you hear what sounds like very high-pitched calls, almost like a squeaky gate... not a very musical call or warble like some birds (for example orioles, grosbeaks and warblers tend to have a nice musical sound). Because they travel in flocks, they can be quite noisy! Also, watching waxwings is fun because they have neat behaviors... like one adult waxwing feeding another one a berry when they're courting, etc.

The Cornell website is a great resource for hearing bird songs/calls.
Cedar Waxwing, Sounds, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:33 AM   #25
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Cedar waxwings move through in flocks. We have them a lot around here. They visit our crabapple, and in the neighborhood they visit sumac and anything else with berries. I think around here they also help spread buckthorn (along with robins), even though they're great birds --- I'm not knocking them!

I realize you're not too keen on bird songs (that's ok!) but just wanted to mention that you know a waxwing flock is around when you hear what sounds like very high-pitched calls, almost like a squeaky gate... not a very musical call or warble like some birds (for example orioles, grosbeaks and warblers tend to have a nice musical sound). Because they travel in flocks, they can be quite noisy! Also, watching waxwings is fun because they have neat behaviors... like one adult waxwing feeding another one a berry when they're courting, etc.

The Cornell website is a great resource for hearing bird songs/calls.
Cedar Waxwing, Sounds, All About Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
I'm fine with learning the songs...I'd like to be able to identify birds by there song...I'm just not very good at it. I feel so inept. I think seeing the bird in my yard making the call/song would help...but I think I'd need repeated exposure to them.

Interesting about the crabapple...I ordered a lot of seedlings this year...and then I found what I think is one growing at the edge of our property. That could be what is attracting them. I also have raspberries that are starting to ripen. There are elderberry blooming now and domesticated blueberries that are still green. I added some straight species blueberries as well--and the lowbush ones...but they've yet to produce. There are other berry producers I continue to add...but I really think the black gum will be a hit (and most of them are planted fairly close to the house so that will be a plus for viewing).

I'd love to see their courting behavior.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #26
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Interesting about the crabapple...I ordered a lot of seedlings this year...and then I found what I think is one growing at the edge of our property. That could be what is attracting them. I also have raspberries that are starting to ripen. There are elderberry blooming now and domesticated blueberries that are still green. I added some straight species blueberries as well--and the lowbush ones...but they've yet to produce. There are other berry producers I continue to add...but I really think the black gum will be a hit (and most of them are planted fairly close to the house so that will be a plus for viewing).
Wow, you have LOTS to attract waxwings! And not just waxwings but all kinds of birds! It's amazing, once you start learning bird songs, a whole world is opened up to you when you're outdoors. 75% of the time (if not more) birds are never even seen...only they're heard. Hearing and recognizing songs is usually the only way to even identify what birds live in your yard. Especially warblers, that stay in the tops of the trees. It's fun!
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #27
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Wow, you have LOTS to attract waxwings! And not just waxwings but all kinds of birds! It's amazing, once you start learning bird songs, a whole world is opened up to you when you're outdoors. 75% of the time (if not more) birds are never even seen...only they're heard. Hearing and recognizing songs is usually the only way to even identify what birds live in your yard. Especially warblers, that stay in the tops of the trees. It's fun!
I guess I do have a bit, and I'm trying to propagate what I do have. In addition to what was already mentioned, I also have pokeweed (and have been moving seedlings to where I want them so that I can remove the large ones growing in the "landscaping". Also, I'm adding viburnums and am looking into other things. I have plans for a LOT more additions--not only berry producers.

If I can learn the songs, that would be great. I'm sure most of the time birds are heard and not seen. I really do hope a water feature will change that for me. (Oops, I brought it up again! )
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:11 PM   #28
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Are these photos from winter? I just ask because the tree looks bare.
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The tree is bare because it died in me last year--it was a fairly large elm tree.
Correction:

After viewing the pictures again to do a crop of the third waxwing, I realized that that is not the dead elm...it is one dead trunk of a three trunked black cherry tree. (I'm sure someone out there would question the bark--as I just did.)
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #29
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If you really want to learn bird songs, try the Peterson's Birding By Ear:

Amazon.com: Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central (Peterson Field Guides) (9780618225903): Richard K. Walton, Robert W. Lawson, Roger Tory Peterson: Books

I realize people learn differently, but these were by far the most easy to understand and relate to. It's not a bunch of memorization - I've tried that many times, unsuccessfully. These give you tips and tricks to remember phrases and sounds, mnemonic devices, and they teach you what part of the song is diagnostic of each species.

I couldn't believe how easy it was to finally learn so many songs so quickly. And yes, it does extremely enhance your enjoyment of being outdoors. No more frustration when you just can't seem to find a bird, but you hear it and still have no idea what it is. I do most of my birding by ear now - it's effortless; I don't have to go chasing things through to woods to find out what they are!

Quote:
Thanks, I will keep up the good work...but I'm not sure I've done enough yet to take credit for the visitors that show up from the fairly natural area that surrounds me. I will take credit for the cavity nesters we have...because they are using the boxes I provided. I would like to think that my "management" of the yard might have something to do with my visitors. . So, thanks again.
I give you credit for it! Even if you have a lot of natural area around you, wildlife is on your property for a reason. Think of what your property might look like now if you didn't live there. All those invasives you've been pulling would still be there, or worse it could have been made into lawn, or pavement! No matter how slowly you're adding things, it's important to remember that you're keeping a lot (like that dead elm) that other people may not have.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:28 PM   #30
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If you really want to learn bird songs, try the Peterson's Birding By Ear:

Amazon.com: Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central (Peterson Field Guides) (9780618225903): Richard K. Walton, Robert W. Lawson, Roger Tory Peterson: Books

I realize people learn differently, but these were by far the most easy to understand and relate to. It's not a bunch of memorization - I've tried that many times, unsuccessfully. These give you tips and tricks to remember phrases and sounds, mnemonic devices, and they teach you what part of the song is diagnostic of each species.
~smile~ It sounds like the RosettaStone language learning program!

Maybe that would make good winter reading (when I don't have so many other things to do). Thank you for the suggestion.

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I couldn't believe how easy it was to finally learn so many songs so quickly. And yes, it does extremely enhance your enjoyment of being outdoors. No more frustration when you just can't seem to find a bird, but you hear it and still have no idea what it is. I do most of my birding by ear now - it's effortless; I don't have to go chasing things through to woods to find out what they are!
I'm starting to wonder if I'm not a true birder. I don't get frustrated, I just enjoy hearing all the "racket" they are making. ~smile~ I bet, if I could pick out the various songs and picture who is singing them, it would enhance my enjoyment. Luckily, I don't experience the frustration you describe...but I guess you don't either any more!

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I give you credit for it! Even if you have a lot of natural area around you, wildlife is on your property for a reason. Think of what your property might look like now if you didn't live there. All those invasives you've been pulling would still be there, or worse it could have been made into lawn, or pavement! No matter how slowly you're adding things, it's important to remember that you're keeping a lot (like that dead elm) that other people may not have.
Thank you so much, disuhan, that is very nice of you to say...and you do make a valid point.

The previous owner kept what is my "meadow in the making" all mowed. The lower section (my "would-be-woods") was all invasives and impenetrable with all of the multiflora rose (HUGE mother of them all ones as I remember)...my first winter here (we bought the house late October), I was able to get in and saw them off at the base while protected by winter clothing. It was quite easy as they were all leaning to one side, so I could go in from behind.

The other thing she seemed to do was use "Brush-B-Gone" or some such chemical at least she left the nasty stuff in the garage. So, thank you for making me realize all of the changes I have made so far.

It is nice to think they are in the yard for a reason--and I hope to give them more and more reason to visit or make a home on our property.

I owe you another "Thank you"...what for? It is a secret (for now).
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~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
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american redstart, bird, bird call, bird id, bird songs, bird sound, bird species, bird watching, birds, call, cedar waxwings, female, ideas, identification, identify, redstarts, song, sound, watching, waxwings

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