Cedar Waxwing At The Firethorn

by Larry on February 4, 2010

Cedar Waxwing photos by Larry Jordan

Cedar Waxwings are one of three birds in the family Bombycilla which also includes the less common Bohemian Waxwing and the Japanese Waxwing which is listed as Near Threatened (NT).  The Cedar Waxwing has actually been increasing in numbers over the last twenty years in North America.

Waxwings eat predominately sugary fruits year round but add insects to their diet in the summer.  They are a nomadic species, following the ever changing distribution of ripening fruits like this Firethorn (Pyracantha) found here at Christmas time.

They will typically hang upside down when picking berries and sometimes use some pretty interesting maneuvers to get at their target fruit.

I thought this bird might fall right out of the bush but he kept his balance …

and kept right on eating!

To see more great sky photos, check out SkyWatch Friday.  For more bird photos you’ve got to go to Bird Photography Weekly!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill S. February 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm

I love the waxwings and we get both of them here. The Bohemians will soon be making their way through our area. I love your pictures of them.
.-= Bill S.´s last blog ..SkyWatch Friday – Sunrise =-.

Faye February 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Those photos are gorgeous

Larry February 4, 2010 at 9:54 pm

@Bill thanks. That is a great American Kestrel shot you posted today!

@Faye thank you Sis!

Lara Neusiedler February 4, 2010 at 10:24 pm

art and nature, nature and art. superb shots!

Felicia Lee February 5, 2010 at 4:30 am

Cedar Waxwings are gorgeous, so elegant-looking. And how fortunate it is for photographers that they like to spend the winter in trees covered with red berries! You captured their essence wonderfully.
.-= Felicia Lee´s last blog ..Spacing Out =-.

jason February 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

These are great shots, Larry! Especially that last one, though I was amused and impressed with the hanging images (it looks like the bird was ready to slide right off the plant).

chris February 5, 2010 at 10:19 am

Oh now, look, you are making very very very jealous to have a so nice post on this guy but also very very very happy…. Together with the waxings (that at least I’ve seen) this guy is my favorite birds. I would just like to see it with my own eyes. I would say that you used very well the time you saw them. The whole set of pictures is gorgeous.
I did not know that there was a third species in Japan.. Is that the bohemian?
.-= chris´s last blog ..Going into the wilderness… =-.

OpposableChums February 6, 2010 at 10:54 am

Great pix of one of my favorite birds. Thanks for posting.

Amber Coakley February 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Hi Larry – I like that funky-lookin’ tongue you captured in the last shot. Also, really nice looks at the bright yellow tips of their tail feathers. Pyracantha is not native to North America, but the waxwings don’t seem to care!
.-= Amber Coakley´s last blog ..Challenge for Charity – February, 2010 =-.

Eileen February 7, 2010 at 4:29 am

Awesome shots of the Waxwings. They are beautiful birds and you got some great shots.
.-= Eileen´s last blog ..Just owls =-.

Tabib February 7, 2010 at 7:44 am

Wow!.. great behavior and feeding shoots.
The last pic with tongue manipulating the red berries is my pick.
.-= Tabib´s last blog ..Sky Rats and Spiderhunter =-.

Mick February 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Great photos and very interesting to see the bird feeding from all those different angles.
.-= Mick´s last blog ..Sandprints and a Crowded Nest =-.

Neil February 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Great photos that last one is spot on.
.-= Neil´s last blog ..TCB Bird Walk Continued =-.

bob k February 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Wow, great timing on those photos, Larry! And close-up even.
.-= bob k´s last blog ..Persistence Pays =-.

Dawn Fine February 10, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Wonderful shots!!! love the last photo and the tongue shot!
.-= Dawn Fine´s last blog ..Sonoran Desert Museum ..The Birds =-.

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