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home : columns : columns July 24, 2017


7/11/2017 10:46:00 AM
Sisters Country birds
By Douglas Beall


The cedar waxwing [bombycilla cedrorum] occurs in medium to large flocks that will be seen on almost any tree that has berries. Serviceberry, dogwood, honeysuckle and mistletoe are just a few fruiting plants that provide food. In winter they consume cedar berries, hence their name "cedar" waxwing.

Waxwing refers to the red waxy secretions that appears on their secondary feathers, which may help in attracting a mate.

Cedar waxwings are among the latest nesting birds. The female chooses the nest and then starts the five-to-six-day building process, which may require up to 2,500 trips to the nest. The nest consists of fine grasses, twigs, moss, bark and hair. Two to six blue-gray eggs are incubated for 11-13 days and then fed at the nest for about two weeks.

The late nesting period allows for many berries to ripen for the young hatchlings to grow quickly on. Later in summer the cedar waxwings will catch many insects on the fly for necessary dietary protein.

A group of waxwings is called an "ear-full" or a "museum."

For more cedar waxwing images visit http://abird singsbecauseithasasong.com/recent-journeys/.





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