4 and 20 waxwings, in from the sky

WINTER’S FIRST FLOCK OF CEDAR WAXWINGS took on fall’s remaining supply of crabapples yesterday. Guess who won? (Me, cause I got to watch.) I got an even better view when they came to drink at the frogpond just out back this morning. Jack the Demon Cat, by the way, is a birdwatcher, too. The proof:

He is for good reason not allowed outdoors during daylight hours unsupervised. But he’s content these days to watch Cat Network TV–kind of like the Discovery Channel, you know?–through the windows and glass doors pretty much all day, or at least between naps.

Learn more about these beautiful birds, who love offseason fruit in the garden, like hollies and crabapples and also including the Eastern red cedar’s fruits (Juniperus virginiana), from which they get part of their name. I have a giant such tree in my front yard; I know what birds like.

By the way, that red thing in the pool up top is a floating pond de-icer, so the frogboys don’t suffocate and the birds can drink all winter. And sorry about photo quality; had to shoot through glass from a distance before they fled. If you click the top image it will open up a little bigger and brighter (true of all photos on the blog).

Categoriesbird sh-t
  1. waxwings are one of my favorite birds! we get them in the fall, here. they used to love our persimmon tree. then we see them again in new hampshire in late summer. love your fellow birdwatcher!

  2. Debbie Moyes says:

    I know all about cat TV! The birds make them chitter. We even spread seeds outside the slider door so the cat have the squirrels up close and personal. Gotta keep the cats happy!

  3. Margaret Andrews says:

    These are my favorite birds as well. I am in the process of transforming my perennial garden ( Montreal ) to a bird garden. I have planted many cornus, sambucus, viburnums and cherries. Only once last spring did I entice these birds to my garden. It was a fleeting visit as they cleaned up the remains of the chokecherries and flew off. Maybe this spring with the three new serviceberries I planted, they will come back.

  4. MulchMaid says:

    I love seeing these beautiful birds! They often came through our last garden (in Portland, OR) in late spring, where they fed on the nectar of our Liriodendron tulipifera. I need to figure out how to lure them to our newer garden with its different tree mix.

  5. Ellen Sousa says:

    Love the picture of the waxwings all hanging around poolside chatting :-) Good idea about the red buoy to keep the water from freezing. Is it powered by something? Have used small floating rubber duckies in water troughs but never thought of using it for a larger-size water garden.

    Jack is a lucky cat to have his own comfy window seat for bird-watching. My cat used to partake in winter bird watching through the window until we installed our wood stove, now she prefers to gaze at the fire instead…I guess staying warm is more important at this time of year!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Lona. I agree — they are truly beautiful, each painted with such dramatic detail. There were many, many dozens — only about 20 came down to the pool. See you soon again!

  6. Judith says:

    I adore waxwings. We have a cherry tree outside our den window and it was full of waxwings this summer, gorging on the fruit. I really enjoyed sitting and watching them, they stayed a few days!

  7. Diana says:

    I love Cedar Waxwings and was so sad when we lost our “Waxwing magnet ” after our old Mountain Ash split in half last winter.

  8. Kathy M says:

    Hope the Waxwings will travel through our farm(Va.) this winter. There are no blue berries on the Cedars this year and that is usually where we see them. Need to plant some Crabapples or Persimmons. Where does one get the floating ball in your frog pond?

  9. Jayne says:

    Jack the Demon cat, you’ve hit the’ jack’pot! Winter Birdwatching from a warm house, and someone has given you the best seat in the house for such a past time!

  10. Deborah says:

    I finally bought a birdbath de-icer at Lowe’s a couple weeks ago, after wanting one for years. It’s not as cute as your red one, more of a doubled coil, but it works fine. We installed it by moving the birdbath closer to the house’s outdoor outlet, and using a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord to plug in the de-icer. The birdbath is about 25 feet away from the apple trees, but we propped our discarded Christmas tree nearby for emergency shelter and general ambiance. The birds love it! Our only problem now is keeping the bird poop out of it and keeping water in it. Same as in summer, in other words, only not so pleasant a chore now that it’s 8 degrees outside.

  11. Susan Bakewell says:

    I’ve always wanted to see a waxwing, but never have. I can’t imagine the joy of seeing a whole yard full! Lucky you!

  12. Margaret Andrews says:

    Just wanted to pass along a follow up note to my January 5th posting.

    The service berries have produced wonderfully this year and the cedar waxwings are visiting daily to gorge themselves on the ripening berries. I expect them to be around for many more weeks as the chokecherries, viburnums and elderberries fruit up.

    I love my garden this year. To provide food for these glorious birds gives me such immense pleasure. :)

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