Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cedar Waxwing

Having a Cedar Waxwing land in a tree right next to you is a treat.  They are not particularly shy birds, but this one probably didn’t notice me when he landed.  He was so close I couldn’t get all of him in the picture.

Cedar Waxwings populate the entire United States either as a full-time resident or as a winter resident in the south.  Wisconsin can get them year-round.  They are distinctive birds, hard to confuse with any other bird.  Their coat of fine feathers gives them a sleek look in warm browns and yellow. They get their name from their waxy looking wing and tail tips in red and yellow. 

Gregarious, they often travel in small groups.  When they are feeding on berries in the trees, I found, they tend to ignore people standing below them.  Berries growing at the ends of thin branches are not out of reach to the one-ounce birds.  They just hang upside down to strip the fruit. Their constant loud calls to others in the group, makes them fairly easy to find, too.

This adult Cedar Waxwing with two juveniles was at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood, Oregon.  One juvenile appears to be hungry.  The two juveniles haven’t yet gained the smooth, sleek forms of adults.

 I photographed this one at the UWM Field Station in the Cedarburg Bog on June 5, 2011.
He wasn't a bit concerned with me walking below him.  

As the sun was going down this guy was looking for something more to eat before retiring for the evening at Concordia College, Mequon, Wisconsin.  Landing twenty feet away and in good light, he was a healthy example of his kind.

July 8, 2012