Friday, May 27, 2011

Birding in Tennessee: Cedar Waxwing

Named for it's red tipped wings that look as though they were dipped in wax, the Cedar Waxwing seems to prefer eating the small blueberry-like cones of the cedar tree. The travel mostly in flocks, moving from area to area in search of berries and insects. Sometimes characterized as a "glutton," or "intensive forager," Cedar Waxwings have been reported to devour an entire fruit crop of red cedars over a 2-day period!

Cedar waxwings spend most of their time in the tops of trees, with the nests that resemble a cup. They prefers forest edges or open woodlands as their habitat. More than half of nest sites have been shown to occur in maple or cedar trees. They produce 1-2 broods per year with 4-6 eggs. After they hatch, the male and female will feed and protect their young for about 18 days.

After one year, the birds develop the bandit-like black mask. The rich, red waxy tips on their wings will appear after 2 years. Cedar Waxwings have a pointed crest and bright yellow at the tip of their tail.

These delightful birds make a "sreeee" chirp and enjoy constant chatter

BIRDING is a special wildlife series from Edge of the Wildwood. Visit wildwood again to learn about more birds and their habitats.

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