Cedar Waxwings

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Forum topic by ChuckV posted 01-01-2012 06:37 PM 1026 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3124 posts in 3553 days

01-01-2012 06:37 PM

We have some crab-apple trees in our front yard that retain the fruit long after the leaves have fallen. Over the years, our property has become a stopover for the cedar waxwings migrating from the summer breading range in Canada to the winter range in the southern US and as far as South America.

The birds appear in great waves and maneuver as one from tree-top to tree-top. This is an annual tradition that we all enjoy.

I found some interesting information about the birds here, including this tidbit:
Because they eat so much fruit, Cedar Waxwings occasionally become intoxicated or even die when they run across overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol.

This could explain why we occasionally hear a thud as one of the birds flies into a window of the house. Most of the time, if we can keep the cat away, the bird will sleep it off and soon be on its way.

These photos are taken from one of the windows on the second floor of our house:

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

5 replies so far

View Porchfish's profile


824 posts in 2558 days

#1 posted 01-01-2012 07:02 PM

Nice photographs ! We have had visits from large flocks too ! We had a loquat tree that used to bear fruit and large flocks would strip it bare in an hours time. We haven’t seen them since we moved from town out to our wooded location ! They are a gorgeous bird but seldom spend the entire fall or winter in our area they seem to go further south in late fall !

don s. Havana Florida porchfish @ porchfish studio

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3111 days

#2 posted 01-01-2012 09:35 PM

They visit us briefly to strip our one lone ash tree, but they are lovely to watch in flight. Last summer, a
pair nested in our lilacs outback and hatched three eggs, they fledged and stripped our chokecherry trees
in one day and disappeared, but I could not water that area of the lawn for a few weeks while the wife
was busy birdwatching.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View ChuckV's profile


3124 posts in 3553 days

#3 posted 01-01-2012 10:24 PM

Hi Gus,

I see you are in Missoula. My sister once lived in Kalispell, right on Flathead Lake (maybe it was actually Lakeside). My brother-in-law was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. After he returned to the US, he worked at a radar facility atop a mountain. I was pretty young at the time, but I remember this being beautiful country.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2462 days

#4 posted 01-02-2012 01:52 AM

We usually get a few Waxwings in early summer. They don’t stay very long. Too bad because they are a striking creature.

Had a Snowy Owl glide across the road in front of me at first light this morning. Startled the crap out of me. They’re a infrequent visitor and a treat to see.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3674 days

#5 posted 01-02-2012 06:03 PM

those are beautiful birds. so nice to have the opportunity to enjoy them that way.

funny and probably very true about the birds and the windows though.

we have a pear tree in the back which is a haven for hornets at the end of the season when all the fruits fall to the ground… not as pretty of a sight as the birds I can assure you

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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