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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cedar Waxwings Kissing

Today I was filling up the oriole feeder and heard a “bzzt,bzzt,” the familiar trilled whistle of the Cedar Waxwing but a lower, slower version of their regular long high pitched screeeech. I didn’t see them until I was helping a customer at the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing and happened to look out the window. She looked at me and asked, “What, what do you see?” I pointed to the two waxwings and said, “Two Cedar Waxwings sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”
Photo by photogizmo
It was so precious! Cedar waxwings breed between June and August in open woodlands. They are monogamous within each breeding season. We saw a pair rubbing bills gently together over and over. To attract a mate, males also may be seen doing hopping dances and passing pieces of fruit, flower petals or insects to their potential mate.

After pairs form, the female chooses the nest site. Waxwings do not defend a territory, even during the breeding season. Cedar Waxwings are social birds that form large flocks and often nest in loose clusters of a dozen or so nests in mixed woodlands, particularly areas along streams.

Female waxwings do almost all the nest building; males may do some construction for the second nest of a season. The female weaves twigs, grasses, cattail down, blossoms, string, animal hair, and similar materials into a bulky cup about 5 inches across and 3 inches high. She lines this cup with fine roots, grasses, and pine needles and may decorate the outside with grasses.

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