Today it is Waxwings. We have the Cedar Waxwings here where I live. I love the rakish black mask they have like little bandits. They also have these amazing brilliant red waxy droplets or secretions on the wings. The young birds don't have them and the males are most likely to have them. Perhaps it is to attract a female.
The waxwings that have orange not the yellow tail tips, this is from the red color they pick up from feeding for a length of time on certain berries, such as those of the honeysuckle or from the carotenoid pigments in the diet.
The waxwing is one of the few birds here that can survive on fruit alone for a while. So if a cow bird plops an egg in their nest the baby will not survive on this diet.
Sometimes the waxwings will get drunk on so much overripe berries.
It takes the female waxwing five or six days to make her nest. She is the one to pick the nest site and she sometimes is a little bit sneaky by stealing stuff from other birds nests to make her own nest a little quicker. Who can blame her for that.
They normally live for five years. The oldest one on record was around 8 years, 2 months old in captivity.
These birds appear to be a little drunk and sleepy.
When courting the males and females like to square dance. They hop toward each other going back and forth and they touch their bills together. The males like to pass small gifts to the chosen female such as fruit, flowers, berries or dragonflies. The female will hop away and then hop back and return the gift but then decides as all females do that she just must have it and snatches it back and eats it.
And if she just does not like that guy she won't dance with him.
I did a post on this a few months ago here is a link to it.
Waxwings are very social and have a funny habit of sitting all on a long branch and if the bird at the top can reach a berry it will pass the berry down the line to the other birds. Sometimes they do this with apple blossoms. They love to share and to be in groups and to give gifts. And they talk a lot also. What a great bird to hang out with.
This bird above has the wax on its wings.
The adults store fruit, as much as 30 cherries, in a crop pouch in their throat and then regurgitate the cherries or other fruit into the awaiting nestlings. The male will sometimes develop a little brood patch and help the female with incubation, usually he will sit above and pretend to be on guard.
I took these photos above a few weeks ago out on Martindale Road. Here are a few shots I took in the summer of the Waxwings passing a dragonfly back and forth.
These photos above were taken with a little point and shoot, Panasonic FZ200. Since I can't hold the Canon gear I have anymore I am thinking of switching all to Panasonic now. I think I pulled a muscle in my arm holding my freaking 4 lb Canon lens. It is really hard to give up on my gear though.
That is it for now. I am doing something really different next week and bloggers you are involved in it so check back with me to see.
Don't forget to check out my twitter page, my Facebook page, my YouTube site.
Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story. I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them for others and as this is the quick way for me to do it.
Click on these links to find great blogs and photos.
The Bird D'pot Thank you Anni
Our World Tuesday Thank you Our World Team
Sweet Shot Tuesday Thank you Kent
ABC Wednesday Thank you Denise, Roger and Team
Nature Notes Wednesday Thank you Michelle
Outdoors Wednesday Thank you Susan
Wild Bird Wednesday Thank you Stewart
I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK BLOGGERS AND BIRDERS!!