Monday, February 13, 2012

Nature Journaling : The Cedar Waxwing Bird

We love opportunities to nature journal ... winter is a great time for us to observe the birds in our neighborhood and at our feeder and this weekend was no exception.

On Saturday morning we awoke to hundreds of these birds in our trees and while I am sure they have probably been in our yard before I have never noticed them.  It had my curiosity up and the kids kept asking what type they were so off to the internet I went. It took awhile but, I finally found what was invading our front yard and trees - the Cedar Waxwing bird.

Apparently they enjoy eating berries off of trees - of which our trees are plentiful right now. It made for some great photographs and the kids now have something to journal about. {It also meant both of our SUV's needed to go to the car wash this weekend - apparently the berries pass quiet quickly through the Waxwing's digestive system.}

Here are a few interesting facts we learned while researching the Cedar Waxwing from this great website:
Cedar Waxwings are social birds that form large flocks and often nest in loose clusters of a dozen or so nests. When feeding on fruits, Cedar Waxwings pluck them one by one and swallow the entire thing at once. They typically feed while perched on a twig, but they’re also good at grabbing berries while hovering briefly just below a bunch. 

The birds’ name derives from their appetite for cedar berries in winter; they also eat mistletoe, madrone, juniper, mountain ash, honeysuckle, crabapple, hawthorn, and Russian olive fruits.

The name "waxwing" comes from the waxy red secretions found on the tips of the secondaries of some birds. The exact function of these tips is not known, but they may help attract mates.


Mary said...

Great pictures :) I am a new follower, via the TOS Crew.

Rock said...

Tegel Outlet
Awesome post and beautiful pic.. :)