I’ve been envious of all the folks who’ve been visited by Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) this winter. I wasn’t aware that these birds wintered in my area. Well, guess what? They do!
I guess it’s true that you learn something new every day. I certainly did on this bright and beautiful Sunday afternoon. Wandering outside with my trusty camera in hand, I decided to look for the Goldfinches that have been visiting for the past several weeks to try for some “continuous” shots of these birds — after several months of using my new camera I finally got around to reading the manual thoroughly and discovered I could do this! Duh! Dumb me. Anyway, while checking out the oak tree behind the back fence I noticed a small group of birds with yellow highlights. Had to be some Goldfinches, right? Wrong. They turned out to be Cedar Waxwings!
According to the Texas Breeding Bird Atlas:
“In Texas, the Cedar Waxwing is a common to abundant winter resident in all parts of the state except the Trans-Pecos, where it is irregular and uncommon (Lockwood and Freeman 2004). Oberholser (1974) gives wintering dates of mid-October to late May, with few exceptions. In the Panhandle the dates range from late August to early June (Seyffert 2001).”
What beautiful birds! Being berry eaters, apparently one of their favorite foods is Photinia arbutifolia. We have a different species — Photinia x fraseri — as a hedge against our back fence. I guess the birds have been making themselves at home in the photinias, gobbling up the berries then resting in the oak tree. I don’t think what’s left on the bushes will keep them in my backyard for the rest of the winter, but I certainly am enjoying their visit while it lasts!