Followers

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Cedar Waxwing (Jaseur d'Amérique)

      It surely must be acknowledged that Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) is one of the most attractive species found across a broad swath of North America.


     Furthermore, it is resident in many areas, and in southern Ontario provides enjoyment to our lives the whole year long.


     It is relatively common and not especially difficult to find, especially when fruiting trees and shrubs are laden with berries. As is often the case, if one locates the food source, the bird is sure to follow.
     While principally frugivorous, it can often be seen flycatching, demonstrating great skill in capturing prey in this fashion.


     Sometimes birds can be seen passing berries from one to the other in what seems to be a game. They are gregarious birds and to our anthropocentric eyes appear to enjoy each other's company. It is seldom that one sees a lone bird, and I suspect that even then it quickly rejoins its flock.
     It is noteworthy that Cedar Waxwings are capable of ingesting fruits that would be toxic to mammals, including humans, without ill effects. 
      

     From The Auk, Vol. 116 No. 3  July 1999:

Cyanogenic glycosides are common secondary compounds in ripe fruits that are dispersed by birds. These substances are toxic to some mammals. The repellent effect of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside on Cedar Waxwings did not reduce food ingestion, even at relatively high concentrations. In addition these birds did not exhibit preference for amygdalin-free over amygdalin-containing fruit. Cedar Waxwings ingested the equivalent of 5.5 times the lethal dose for rats in 4h without exhibiting any external signs of toxicity. The presence of large amounts of unhydrolyzed amygdalin in the  excreta of waxwings fed on amygdalin-laced food confirmed that amygdalin was excreted intact.

       It is quite enough for most of us to simply appreciate the beauty of the bird, and to enjoy its companionship on a pleasant walk in the woods.


      But perhaps once in a while it is good to reflect on the marvelous adaptations of this splendid bird in its feeding habits, and perhaps to appreciate it even more.


     I will be going for a walk later today. If I am really lucky a flock of waxwings will keep me company. And I won't even ask them to share their berries!
   

58 comments:

  1. They are so pretty, David. Beautiful photos. I hope they joined you for the walk.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A beautiful bird with lovely colours. Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekend, David.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ils sont très beaux!
    Vous avez fait de très belles photos.
    Bonne soirée

    ReplyDelete
  4. How pretty they are!
    Very nice shots.
    All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  5. They are absolute beauties. Birds (and rather a lot of species other than our own) continually amaze and delight me.
    I hope your walk is bountifully blessed with feathered enchantments.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for more info on one of my favorite birds.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello,

    Great post and beautiful Cedar Waxwing photos. They are one of my many favorite birds.
    Take care, happy weekend to you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow nice entrance!, I love Waxwings. I think they are funny and beautiful birds, Greetings from Spain

    ReplyDelete
  9. We have seen these birds along the boardwalk on two days recently. They are in a flock and high in the trees so we never get good photos of them. Both days were calm, without any wind. The windy day in between there was no sign of them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. He likes to sit on the ridge of branches. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. A beautifully illustrated account of this delightful species, David. I envy the fact that this is a 'reliable' species for you. I'm hoping that this year will be an irruption year for Bohemian Waxwing in England but I'm not aware of any sign of this happening yet, although it does tend to happen a little later in the winter. If it does, I shall be wanting to get my fill. My best wishes to you and Miriam - - - Richard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bohemian Waxwing is present here too, Richard, but much rarer. It generally remains farther north and before I met Miriam and lived near Lindsay, ON I saw it most years.

      Delete
  12. Buenas noches amigo David, es un pájaro precioso con un plumaje de una combinación de colores y tonalidades que llama la atención. ¡Realmente bello! Es muy llamativo su antifaz negro y bordeando una ligera línea blanca. Las fotos son preciosas.
    Os deseo un buen fin de semana.
    Un fuerte abrazo querido amigo y compadre de tu siempre amigo juan.

    ReplyDelete
  13. One of my favorite birds. We haven’t seen ours yet this fall but I expect them any day. Beautiful photos.

    ReplyDelete
  14. One of my absolute favorite of all birds! Enjoyed learning a bit more about them and viewing your beautiful photos. Hope you enjoyed your walk and have a wonderful rest of your weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pretty photos – I think I have seen these birds in my Atlanta backyard. I am not knowledgeable about birds – I was watching one in my Nashville backyard, and it turned out to be a flying squirrel.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cedar Waxwings are so beautiful and your array of photos is lovely. Although they are in Tennessee during the winter, I have only seen them twice; once at home and once at a downtown 19 acre park I worked at. I felt fortunate being in the right place at the right time to view them. And to think you have them year around!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think the cedar waxwing is a lovely bird.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Boa noite David. Obrigado por nos mostrar essas aves em plena liberdade e harmonia com a natureza. Comecei a seguir o seu excelente trabalho. Gostaria de ter o privilégio de lhe ter como seguidor no meu Blogger. Bom domingo.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's been two or three years since I've seen any waxwings, but I'll keep looking. When I've seen them here they have arrived as a flock, and their calling back and forth is quite a distinct sound. I might have a chance; the groundskeepers failed to trim the flowers off the palms this year, so there are fruits galore, and the waxwings seem to adore them. Your photos are beautiful -- and look at all those yellow-tipped tails. We see them with both yellow and orange.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi David, that's a very dapper birds, looks like it's been all spruced up for the photos. And interesting that it can eat poisonous berries and not suffer. I have never seen them over here, but perhaps one day they will cross the big pond and visit us here, too. Have a wonderful day, stay well and safe, hugs to you and Miriam! Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm sure you will enjoy your walk - mine was out to the clothes line and back :)
    Lovely looking bird and it's not a tiny one.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi David,
    Waxwings are absolutely beautiful birds. I hope to see them every winter. You can already be satisfied to have seen those birds, and even by having photographed them. Everytime you read a story about the adaptation abilities of animals you can be impressed by the surprises of our nature.
    Greetings, Kees

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi David - beautiful photos ... with an interesting piece on the cedar waxwings way of life ... as too other birds - nature is quite extraordinary - cheered me up on a very wet morning ... all the best - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  24. Delightful images and post. Happy walking, hopefully with the Waxwings.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Lucky you to be able to go out thinking you have every chance of seeing a Waxwing. The only reliable bird here is a sparrow. Great write up, well done.
    Take care Diane

    ReplyDelete
  26. Pretty, pretty, and more pretty!! My favorite of your photos is the couple in the tree!
    Thanks for stopping by & adding your shared link at IRBB.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi David.

    Beautiful bird and beautiful colors.
    Beautiful pictures.

    Greetings from Patricia.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Waxwings are a beautiful bird. We've had them on Lewis in the autumn and winter at least since they were recorded in 1957 but I have very rarely seen them.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great post David. I am always delighted to see a Cedar Waxwing. The Bohemian is on my wish list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bohemian is certainly more difficult, Carol, but when I lived farther north I saw them annually, a couple of times right on my own property. They are present in Algonquin Park during the winter, usually in small numbers, but flocks of twenty or so have occurred there, so perhaps on one of our jaunts we might luck into them. I am sure they will admire you as much as you admire them!

      Delete
  30. I am new to your blog and it is lovely. I came because you commented on my latest blog entry and for that I am grateful. I too love the waxwings and here is what I wrote back in 2006 about it...
    https://goldendaze-ginnie.blogspot.com/2006/10/arrival-of-cedar-waxwings.html
    I will be following you from now on and thank you for your wonderful pictures and articles. Ginnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ginnie: I am looking forward to getting to know you and following your intelligent blog.

      Delete
  31. Hola David.

    It's true, the Bombycilla cedrorum it's a beautiful bird, a gift for the lucky eyes that can behold them.

    Recibe un fuerte abrazo desde Galicia, España,

    Rafa.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Es un pájaro precioso, me encantaría verlo por aquí. Besos.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Boa tarde David. Seja bem-vindo. Obrigado pela amizade.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Cedar Waxwings are such dapper birds, always one of my favorite winter visitors.

    ReplyDelete
  35. A fabulous photo essay!

    We are just beginning to see a few waxwings in the area. Typically, we see many more during spring migration. But tomorrow I'm off to check a couple of "secret" mulberry tree locations!

    In my totally unbiased opinion, this is one of the most handsome birds in nature.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Si que es verdad, esta Bombycilla es muy atractiva ¡qué bellas fotos!
    Muchos besos.

    ReplyDelete
  37. We are excited when they visit us in the winter months. They are indeed very beautiful! Hope you are enjoying a good weekend! We got out yesterday and it was great! (we saw 3 Kestrels)

    ReplyDelete
  38. What an attractive bird (not one I have ever seen). It would be fun watching them interacting with each other, especially swapping berries like that!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love this bird and we regularly have a small flock down by the pond. When I taught and lived in western Labrador this bird frequented the dogberry bushes there much to my delight. I had no idea they ventured that far north.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jocelyn: I am not familiar in any great detail with the breeding birds of Labrador, but Cedar Waxwing is quite possible. If you observed the birds in the winter, however, they are more likely to have been Bohemian Waxwings.

      Delete
  40. I admire this bird. I've never seen it in nature.
    I admire your wonderful photos.
    Hugs and greetings from autumn Poland.
    Lucja

    ReplyDelete
  41. These beautiful birds are a favorite of mne and one I didn't discover at the ditch till this spring. I hope I see more in the days/weeks ahead. As always, splendid photos.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful species of bird, I know it from seeing it in numerous photos and illustrations. We have nothing like that where I live so it always catches my attention

    ReplyDelete
  43. I admire your photos, but not the person you are!
    Why people are hateful I will never understand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea what triggered that outburst. Perhaps you didn't have your morning coffee!

      Delete
  44. Hi David, beautiful photos of this beautiful bird. I never saw one. Greetings Caroline

    ReplyDelete
  45. Such a beautiful bird, lovely photographs.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi David,
    nice pictures and interesting info of these wonderful birds.
    Picture 4 is a lovely one.

    Best regards, Corrie

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Daavid,
    Stunning fascineting birds with expressive eyes!
    Great shots!
    Warm Greetings,
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ohhhhhhhhh .... i'm jealous !!!!
    The waxwing comes to the Netherlands more often in the winter, but I've only ever seen one. I often see great photos with others and now also with you. I hope to be able to photograph them this winter as well :-))))
    Your photos are really great!
    With kind regards,
    Helma

    ReplyDelete
  49. Beautiful photos of Waxwing! I've only seen them twice in my life, despite the fact that they are quite popular in Poland.

    ReplyDelete