Wednesday November 2nd 2011 Tim Candler
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
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