Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sometimes Only For a Moment: Cedar Waxwings in the Backyard

Sometimes you only get the shortest moment. I was sitting in the backyard watching some small birds flitting among the branches when a small flock of five or six Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) landed in my Mulberry tree.
I got just a couple of shots, wondering if they were going to stick around. They didn't stay but maybe 10-15 seconds before heading west. At times during the winter, I've had flocks of fifty or more roost in our flowering pear tree overnight. They're kind of eerie at night because they don't make any noise at all. They just stare at you, if anything.
Obviously they are colorful and pretty birds. They love fruits and berries when they can get them, but will chase after bugs if they need to. Their chicks can survive on fruit alone which saves them from Cowbird parasites in the nest. The  Cowbird chicks can't live on the vegetarian diet.

The Flowering Pear didn't produce much fruit this year, so I don't know if I'll be seeing many of these birds in our yard this winter, but we'll see. You'll be the first to know!

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