Saturday, November 29, 2014

Winter Berries 2

The beautiful Cedar Waxwing is another bird that gathers in small flocks to eat berries in winter. They are a year-round resident in this area, but I usually only see them over the winter months when they gather in flocks.

They are a beautiful bird, named for the red waxy tips seen on their secondary flight feathers on their wings. They eat the small cones of the Eastern red cedar from which it's name derives.

This particular Fall, the waxwings were traveling with a sizable flock of American Robins and you can see how large they are in relation to a Robin in this photo. They have a particular fondness for Holly berries. If the berries have had time to ferment, however, they can actually make themselves drunk eating them.

Cedar Waxwings have a distinctive vocalization which, for some reason, my wife often hears before I do. She has pointed them out to me on several occasions. This is a pretty typical-sized winter flock. If berries are scarce, they will begin traveling in much larger, wide-ranging flocks.

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