Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Colorful Nomads

A flock of cedar waxwings stopped by our yard yesterday afternoon, alighting in the top of a black maple. Within a few minutes the birds were gone, off to find a berry patch. Such is the style of these attractive wanderers; though fairly common and often seen in sizable flocks, waxwings are fidgety and erratic visitors, constantly moving from one feeding area to another.
While they consume berries throughout the year, cedar waxwings often flycatch from shade trees during the warmer months and seem to have a fondness for the petals of tuliptrees.

Their cousins, Bohemian waxwings, are rare winter visitors in Missouri. These birds are heavier, grayer in color and, in my experience, less skittish.