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, April 23, 2019

Photo Share: Waxwings strip the trees of last year's fruit

Crab apples trees surround the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, Michigan and attract a variety of fruit eating birds like the House Finches, Northern Cardinals, American Robins, woodpeckers, and today a noisy bunch of Cedar Waxwings! This year there isn't as much fruit left as other years but they are working through every berry in sight, even if they have to hang upside down to reach it. The photos don't catch the frenetic energy of the birds but I still had to share them because they are such lovely birds!
Male and female Cedar Waxwings look similar to human eyes. They are sleek grayish birds with a pale yellow 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. The purpose of these tips are still unknown. One study found older birds, had a higher number of tips, than younger birds. Both male and females have these tips and because they tend to mate with birds that have a similar number as them, it's thought it might signal to other birds their age and status to help find the appropriate mate choice.

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've never heard what Cedar Waxwings sound like, click HERE to go to Cornell's Lab of Ornithology website.

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
What birds eat apples? https://goo.gl/XcCwtL 

Cardinals and Crabapples https://goo.gl/3639Nm
How to Attract Cedar Waxwings https://goo.gl/5JeHnn

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