For one day each October, we delight in watching a flock of Cedar Waxwings stop in our yard to devour the berries on our dogwood shrubs. Although they are in the upper Midwest all summer, I only see them in my area (MN) during spring and fall migration.
They are among the latest nesting birds in North America. Because their diets consist of mostly fruit, late nesting allows them to take advantage of all the late summer and early fall fruit and berries. They are susceptible to intoxication or death from eating fermented berries.
The past 2 years have brought the juvenile Cedar Waxwings to our yard. They can be easy to miss; they don’t have the same air-brushed look of the adults. The juveniles have grayish, heavily streaked chests and don’t get their red wing tips until the second year. Their distinct mask, the beginnings of the crest on their heads and their high-pitched squeaks (sounds like ‘zeeee, zeeet or sreee’) drew my attention and made me look twice.
Do you see these painted beauties? What fruit or berries do they enjoy in your yard?
Final countdown to the much-anticipated birding movie, The Big Year. It opens in 9 days on Friday, October 14.