This summer we had Cedar Waxwings, one of the latest breeding Pennsylvania migrants, nest in our London Planetree. Nest building was happening as late as August 5, and on the first of September I filmed the nestlings being fed. What a surprise to have this happening so late in the year!
Cedar Waxwings are exceptionally beautiful in the hand. I first became interested in birds the moment an amazing college professor of mine placed a fresh road-kill Cedar Waxwing in my hands. He had pulled our van over to the side of the road to retrieve it.
I had no idea what was about to happen. I looked down at that bird and was shocked - my mind was reeling. Before that moment I had never really noticed birds. Right then, sitting in the van holding this wonderful specimen, was an inflection point for me. So many thoughts and questions fought for priority as I came to terms with the fact that this one little creature was far more stunning than anything I had ever focused on before - how could something like this be real? How could I have not seen one of these until that day? What else was I missing?
- Waxwings are one of the most frugivorous birds out there, and can live on fruit alone for extended periods of time.
- Watch the adult birds cough up berries to feed the nestlings - sometimes 8 or more in one visit! I have not worked on identifying the berries yet. They appear too large to be from the Eastern Redcedar's that are near the nest.
- The adult's consume or carry fecal sac's away to keep the nest clean.
I also captured footage of the nest building, though not as close up as the above. If you want to see the pair building the nest, go here.