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Sunday, 7 March 2021

A Bevy of Cedar Waxwings

 06 March 2021

     I had been out running an errand and was almost home when I noticed a number of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on some kind or ornamental crab apple tree, on the corner of two nearby streets, one of which joins the street where we live.


     I should not have been surprised that people were walking by, right next to the tree, without noticing the birds - but I was!


     I went home, and Miriam walked back with me with her camera to capture these birds that were totally unconcerned with us, and feeding at close range. If I were a little taller I could have reached out and touched one of them.
     Here is what captured their attention.


     And they were not alone. A male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) was happy to join them at the feast.



     It is ironic that only a day or two earlier, we had been commenting that we had not seen a waxwing so far this year, and here they were!

     
     A steady stream of birds flew in to snag a couple of fruits, soon to be replaced by others.



     There was ample food for all.


     To see so handsome a bird at close range like this was such a pleasure!


     Makes me wish I had an ornamental apple tree in my yard!


47 comments:

  1. What a great opportunity to watch them! Such great looking birds.

    I keep hoping some birds will find the berries on our holly but no luck so far.

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  2. How wonderful.
    I am fond of crab apple trees anyway, but to attract such beauties would magnify their appeal.

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  3. I've seen a cedar wax wing ONE time in my life. They were just passing through one spring, and stopped to strip some bush of its newly formed fruit.

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  4. Beautiful! My grand daughter calls them the bandit birds lol,,,she said they were a mask lol,,

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  5. I currently have a rather large flock of Cedar Waxwings in my yard feeding on spoiled citrus fruit. The fruit was on my trees during the recent freeze and, of course, it froze. But it will not go to waste. The birds are feasting on it. I'm glad I didn't hurry to clean it all up. Procrastination pays!

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  6. They are so beautiful David, and I'm glad you saw them now.

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  7. Hi David.

    Beautiful so beautifully close.
    Super beautiful birds.
    Beautiful pictures.

    Greetings from Patricia.

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  8. Hari om
    What a score for a birder!!! I keep my eyes peeled, but so far nothing beyond the usual here...YAM xx

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  9. That was a real food festival there ...
    The Cedar Waxwings birds are fun, they look like "angry birds" (you know, the game!)! LOL

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  10. During the winter months, if we are lucky, flocks of Waxwings - Bombycilla garrulus come into our garden. They demolish all of the our Contoneaster berries, but we are more than happy for them dine out on the berries.

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  11. Hello,
    It would be nice to see the lovely Waxwings in my yard. Beautiful collection of photos.
    Take care, have a happy day and a great new week!

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  12. A very fortuitous finding, David! It seems, from your description, that the Cedar Waxwing has different habits to the Bohemian Waxwings that we see. All the Bohemians that I've seen travel in a tight group, and have a perching tree up to 100 metres from the food tree, and arrive en-masse, feed, and then depart again, always close together and never splitting into smaller groups. They seem to almost exclusively feed on berries, and it seems that they need water nearby to help with the digestion process. From your words, it seems that the Cedars do not stay so tightly together.

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    Replies
    1. I think your assessment is correct, Richard. The main difference seems to be the result of the two different lifestyles. Bohemians Waxwings are highly nomadic and need to stick together to maintain flock cohesion whereas Cedar Waxwings are resident and will spend their entire lives in the same area, thereby knowing it well and not needing constant association with others.

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  13. Hi David,
    It is always a pleasure to see waxwings. It doesn't matter how often you have seen them in earlier years. What a luck that you had time enough to observe them at ease. Besides that, the cardinals were an extra gift.
    Greetings, Kees

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  14. I haven't come across these birds very often. When I first sighted one in our backyard in Sarnia, I had to visit the birder teacher and ask him for an ID.

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  15. Très jolis oiseaux, c'est super de les observer de prêt, les gens ne les regardaient même pas, quel dommage!
    Bonne journée

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  16. Great, professional photos of the birds and their food! Miriam is definitely an accomplished photographer!

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  17. Es precioso y lo llamativo es, la combinación de colores en tonos limpios y muy bien combinados. Es un pájaro muy atractivo amigo David.
    Un fuerte abrazo de tu amigo y compadre Juan.

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  18. What a wonderful surprise. Miriam took some great and beautiful photos of the birds feasting on the berries.

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  19. I thought it was cardinal...actually, Cedar....their head look like similar...
    great shots

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  20. What a great find, maybe I should buy a crab apple tree, though birds do not seem to be that fussed about our apple trees. The figs are what suffer most but there is generally enough for them and us
    Great set of photos. Keep well Diane

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  21. nice shots of the waxwing. I only saw them once this season and it was a grey rainy day so the birds just looks grey. But at least, I did see some!

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  22. hello David
    going back with miriam was worth it and you were rewarded, very beautiful birds and even more beautiful pictures
    Greetings Frank

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  23. I've only seen pictures of them. They are so striking! Glad you went back and got pictures. :)

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  24. Beautiful birds and beautiful photographs.

    All the best Jan

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  25. I was thinking about the cedar waxwings on my walk today. No sighting, but there should be one soon. I could never get photos as splendid as these though. They're terrific. And a cardinal, too!

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  26. These are wonderfully photographed.

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  27. The detail in your photos is amazing.

    Love,
    Janie

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  28. Hi David - aren't they stunning ... and what a wonderful find to come across. Excellent you went home to collect Miriam and get some special shots of them: Gorgeous photos ... what a wonderful wonder of Spring and yes I'd be looking to get an ornamental apple tree - all the best - Hilary

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  29. Nature takes care of birds.

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  30. Beautiful photos of these birds. I never saw them. I think the Bombycilla cedrorum we have in the Netherlands too. Greetings Caroline

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  31. Beautiful portraits, I’m so glad you and Miriam saw them. Cedar waxwings were my spark birds (though circumstances didn’t ever allow the flame to grow too much). But years ago my youngest son spotted these new visitors in our crabapple tree and we spent a whole Saturday afternoon watching them feed each other. We’d always had bird feeders, but not really paid a lot of attention to behaviors ... that appearance led me to take a class and buy books etc...... I think I remember that they don’t always follow the same migratory path...it’s true we never saw them in our yard again, but we have seen them in a number of other places. Not lately though, so I loved seeing these beauties once again,

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  32. Has tenido mucha suerte ¡ que alegría ! Abrazos.

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  33. What a joy to be able to see them so close-up. It always amazes me how people fail to notice anything in the world around them. Sometimes I make a comment about some birds that may be singing, and people haven't even heard them. Nature is so rich in sharing its pleasures with us that it makes me sad some people never get to experience it.

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  34. Wow, you got lucky spotting them! (I would've walked by and not even noticed them, because I'm not very observant.) They are a lovely looking bird. And the Cardinal was an added bonus. I always wonder why some birds are very skittish, while others go about their business like we aren't even there, even when we're only a few feet away.

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  35. Hi David,
    lovely set of images with these two very beautiful birds feesting at this tree.
    You don't have such an apple tree in your yard, but this one was close enough.

    Best regards, Corrie

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  36. Hi David,
    These birds are so beautiful. It is a great pleasure to view this post!
    Best regards,
    Maria

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  37. Beautiful photographs of the ampelis, that for me is one of the most beautiful birds, unfortunately it is not a bird that we can observe in the Iberian peninsula. Greetings david

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  38. David - I have always admired waxwings for their elegant plumage. They always look like they are headed to a black-tie affair! Terrific shots. I am sure they will soon arrive in Montana!

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  39. These birds are so wonderful!
    Greeting Elke

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  40. This is a beautiful bird, which I have never seen before.
    Also adore the little bird on the frontis ...
    he has a bad boy face jajaja, is a kind of winged bandit.
    Greetings, many kisses and hugs from una starry night en Buenos Aires

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  41. Hello David, just love those Waxwings. Luckely we have them on this part of the world too, slightly differrent than the ones you show here. Great photos!
    Regards,
    Roos

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  42. Beautiful photos of the bird eating the berries. We love to see them, but they are not at all nice if they perch above your car, for obvious reasons!

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  43. They are one of my favourite birds. My Mum had a crabapple tree that they loved to feed on each year.

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  44. I never, ever get tired of seeing the Waxwings, even though I mostly have to content myself with other's photos. These are just splendid. The Cardinals are here, of course; there's no lack of opportunity to see them. I've seen one in the same shrubbery where a pair set up housekeeping last year; with luck, their population will increase, too.

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  45. Jeez David,
    you know how to bring them !!! What beautiful pictures of the waxwings. I hope to see it again but ....... your red cardinal is really fantastic. i really like that beautiful red bird.

    Dear greetings,
    Helma

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