Cedar waxwings at the water bowl

January 2, 2021

Cedar waxwings are beautiful and exotic-looking songbirds who occasionally pass through our backyard. They arrive in great flocks and strip the possumhaw holly trees of all their red berries before moving on to the next source of food. Juniper berries are another cedar waxwing favorite.

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be able to watch them at one of the water bowls. While other birds that day had been bathing and splashing around, the cedar waxwings were intent on drinking – perhaps they knew they had a long flight ahead of them and wanted to get water while they had the opportunity?

They’re interesting birds, not only because of their bizarre Batman masks, yellow tail tips, and red waxy wing markings, but also because they are extremely social. We rarely see a lone cedar waxing (although it does happen: Take a look at https://texasbackyardwildlife.com/a-cedar-waxwing-drops-in-on-a-great-horned-owl).

For more information about these fascinating and beautiful birds, go to the Cornell Ornithology Lab site, All About Birds: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cedar_Waxwing.