Friday, August 17

Friday Bird Blogging: Cedar Waxwings

I've been taking pictures of Cedar Waxwings for quite some time now, but this is the first time I actually captured the reason they've got their name: those red wingtips which look like they're made from wax are where their names come from. They are fairly plentiful in Vermont and feed almost entirely on fruit (though once, for some inexplicable reason, one showed up at our feeder to eat on sunflower seed).

Here's one of Cornell's cool Cedar Waxwing facts:
Cedar Waxwings with orange instead of yellow tail tips began appearing in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada beginning in the 1960s. The orange color is the result of a red pigment picked up from the berries of an introduced species of honeysuckle. If a waxwing eats the berries while it is growing a tail feather, the tip of the feather will be orange.
Of course, now that I know this, I'll have to go looking for an orange-tailed one just to get the variety.

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