Cedar Waxwings

mulberryknobJanuary 27, 2013

This morn DH said, "There's a bird with a yellow band across the tip of its tail at the waterer." "Sounds like a Cedar waxwing, but they usually fly in flocks." "I just saw one." he said. We both stood at the kitchen window and watched for the next ten minutes as a steady stream of waxwings dropped one or two at a time from the trees down to the waterer, taking turns with all the other birds there--bluebirds, titmice, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches. It was only after the feeder was empty and all the other birds had left that I saw 6 of them lined up at the waterer at once.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Dorothy,

I love watching the birds. We used to have lots of cedar waxwings in winter in Fort Worth and I loved to watch them eat the berries from the shrubs, lined up on a branch like a production line of factory workers.

How cool that y'all got to watch the birds yesterday.

We have the same birds her at the feeders this winter and others in smaller quantities. We've always had large numbers of doves too.

I put out a little cracked corn for the crows out west of the barn every morning. They reward me by chasing away the hawks all day long that are a threat to our free-ranging chickens.

This has been a great winter to watch the birds. We also have had a lot of honey bee and butterfly activity the last 7-10 days, though there's not a lot in bloom yet.

Dawn

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 6:06AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

How fantastic, Dorothy! I love Cedar Waxwings. Don't they migrate North thru here?

Dawn, you're probably seeing a lot of the butterflies that feed on rotten fruit, tree sap, dung, etc., like the Question Marks, Mourning Cloaks, Red Admirals (they do feed on nectar after the flowers begin to bloom), Commas, etc.

I love watching the birds in winter. Something to fill my time while waiting for spring.

Susan

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:20AM
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mulberryknob

According to the bird book the waxwings winter in the U.S. (as far north as the Great Lakes)and Mexico then migrate to Canada and Alaska to breed in summer.

I've seen bees a few times this winter but so far no butterflies.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:10AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I think Cedar Waxwings are beautiful but have only seen them a few times.

I am not feeding the birds but the cardinals and titmice are stealing my cat's food on the porch.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:31AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, I'm mostly seeing Sulphurs, which we have in great profusion here, and also a few Question Marks and Commas. I haven't seen any Red Admirals yet, but we had a billion of them last year so I'm sure I'll see some before too long.

We have a small handful of native wildflowers blooming, and the orange tree was blooming for the last 2 or 3 weeks but it is finished now.

We have had high temps in the upper 70s a couple of times lately, and all the little flying critters came out of the woodwork like crazy on those days. On the day we hit 78 degrees, red wasps were out.

We have the most honey bees I've ever seen out and about in January, and I hope that is a sign that the honey bee population is healthy and abundant this year.

Helen, If I forget and leave cat food on the porch after dark, we have a steady stream of visitors, including armadillos, possums and coons coming to eat it. I try to remember to bring in the food at night so we don't encourage these varmints to hang around close to the house. We just have too much wildlife here.

Last night I stepped out onto the back porch to call the cat who had not yet come indoors for the night, and there were three deer standing about 15 or 20' from the porch. I think they were coming to the side yard to eat any bird seed that the birds had dropped from the bird feeder to the ground. All the wildlife here is so hungry and has a hard time finding food they like at this time of the year. We have a yard full of cottontail rabbits every night. I'm not sure if they're eating bird seed or maybe the winter rye grass.

Dawn

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:58AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Bunnies and butterflies, hurrah, Dawn! A lady on the Butterfly Gardening forum has Variegated Fritillaries that she is raising right now. She's in North Texas, so they are close. We had a ton of these last year, too. They eat wild violets and native passion vine. Of course, native passion vine, their favorite, is not up yet, so they are hitting the violets. Be on the look out for these. They fly low to the ground. As soon as there are some native nectar plants available, I'm sure you'll start to see these, too.

I watch, on occasion, a local Birdcam here in OKC. The person lives close to me, and I see lots of Goldfinches at her feeders, along with White-Winged Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, so much fun to watch them. Three fat Doves were on her feeder at the same time the other day, and the feeder was tipping in every which way. Funny!

I'll give you a link in case you want to look at it for a minute. She has 3 different cameras in her yard and lots of photos of birds she has had at her feeders.

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Pat's Backyard Bird Cam

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:34AM
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