About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

#GreatBackyardBirdCount (#GBBC): Learn about the Cedar Waxwings

Get to know the Cedar Waxwings before The Great Backyard Birdcount (#GBBC)

Last year produced an abundance of crab apples on the trees surrounding the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, Michigan. As a result we have had an abundance of fruit eating birds like the House Finches, Northern Cardinals, American Robins, woodpeckers, and today a noisy bunch of Cedar Waxwings!

Male and female Cedar Waxwings look similar to human eyes. They are sleek grayish birds with a pale yellow breast and belly, a black mask around their eyes, and a crest on top of their head. They also have bright red wax-like spots on their wings and a bright yellow band at the tip of their tail. 

Waxwings are social birds that you’re likely to see in flocks year-round. They sit in fruiting trees swallowing berries whole, or pluck them in mid-air with a brief fluttering hover. You might hear the waxwings before you see them. They have a very distinctive thin, high-pitched warbled "zeee" or "zeeet" call that is hard to forget.

If you are lucky enough to have waxwings visiting during the Great Backyard Birdcount and find it difficult to give an accurate count when a flock descends, eBird has developed two bird counting tutorials to help you learn how to estimate numbers. The best technique to use when encountering large flocks of birds is to carefully count a sample, or section, of the flock then extrapolate your count to come up with an estimate. Check out these tutorials:
Related Articles:
Bird of the Week: Cedar Waxwing http://goo.gl/gwQma2
Red Maple flower make a tasty treat for Cedar Waxwings http://goo.gl/Lo72NS
Cedar Waxwing Nesting Season Begins in the Summer http://goo.gl/F3erQl
Keep your eyes open for Bohemian Waxwings! http://goo.gl/Bu67BV

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