Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Cedar Waxwings

photo taken from Birds of the Northwest

We've been hearing and seeing the Cedar Waxwings at the Education center for 2 weeks now. I quite enjoy them. Dashing from the Welcome room to the Library I startled the flock out of the stream. I was so delighted to see all these ruffled waxwings. There was one still in the creek with his tail feathers spread. They are very social. Apparently their behavior is similar to tropical fruit eating birds like conures. Which is cool, because conures even have that high pitched call. That should mean they are pretty intelligent too.

I've held the feathers before. They tips really do feel like wax. I've been so curious as to the purpose and apparently no on really knows. I was right about one thing, I figured the 'wax' bands came from their food, just like flamingos get their pink from their food. This seems to be true, because in the East where a new species of honeysuckle has been introduced the yellow tail bands are turning orange.

"Cool fact: Over most of North America, the Cedar Waxwing is the most specialized fruit-eating bird."

I got that quote from Cornell's website. They are such a great source of info. I also learned they travel long distances in search of food. Apparently it can be hard to tell whether they are migrating or just searching for food they travel so far. I've seen them here eating the Hemlock berries.


Blogger Eliza said...

This is great!
I love reading about your animal sightings & identification.
I'll have to let you know what I see this weekend--I am heading out to San Juan Island to do some camping & exploring the island, including a five hour kayaking trip. I really hope we see a whale! :)


9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

I love this.
I want to get out in the country more. Or at all.
I would love to live over there.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Herman said...


thanks all!

Eliza - I'm envious and I want to hear all about your trip!

8:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home