Cedar Waxwings!

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

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!

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

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).”

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)

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!

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14 thoughts on “Cedar Waxwings!

  1. That is wonderful! They are such a beautiful bird and I am always thrilled when they visit. They breed in our area and I see and hear them most of the summer, but most disappear in the fall and we only get an occasional nomadic flock through the winter. Enjoy them while the food supply lasts!

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  2. Your photos are glorious!! They really do justice to the beauty of those birds. I’ve heard them in the last day or so, but they’ve been bypassing my plot, flying high and fast!

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  3. We had a mulberry tree at our last house and when they were ripe you could count twenty cedar wax wings before one started them all a flutter and it was impossible to keep count. I’m glad you’ve spotted some!

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  4. Lucky you, they’re wonderful looking birds. Here in the UK flocks of waxwings are irregular winter visitors, often seen on red berried cotoneaster bushes in supermarket car parks. Sadly I’ve never seen any. xx

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  5. I’ve got one last yaupon covered with berries that I was hoping would draw in a passing flock of cedar waxwings. No luck so far so I’m happy to at least have a glimpse through your “eyes” at some of the flashiest birds going. Great shots!

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  6. They descend here just when the berries of the mahonia are ripe and wipe out the supply in short order. I love them and am so upset when I’ve missed one of their forays into my garden. They are a special little bird, aren’t they?

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