Cedar WaxwingDecember 2004


If one bird in particular qualified to be a Christmas ornament because of its bright colorful appearance, I'd nominate the cedar waxwing.

A flock of them breezed in by my corner of State College, Pennsylvania, during the second week of November. The waxwings stayed close to the tree that had bird and suet feeders but ignored them. They, like the robins, preferred the berries, devoured the crop within the week, and continued their migration.

Cedar waxwing eyeing berries
  The cedar waxwing eyes its intended berry, and then - whack! another berry is eaten.
Cedar waxwing eating berry
  Afterward, as below, the waxwing (somewhat smaller than an American robin) decides on the next tasty berry.
Cedar waxwing ready for more
  I didn't take sufficient account of the shadows within the tree, so the following waxwing appears darker than it should be; nevertheless, the photo does show the red-orange wingtip and yellow tail tip.
Cedar waxwing
Field books discussing waxwings always mention their sleekness. Well, here's a nonsleek and very fluffed out fellow:
Cedar waxwing fluffed
  Photo note: I used a Pentax *istD, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens with a Pentax 1.4x adapter and the SMC 400-600mm reflex for these photos.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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