Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc. l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years,you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer: The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.
While in my yard yesterdayI heard a flutter, I looked up in the tree and there it was a beautiful little Cedar Waxwing. I heard another flutter and yup, there were two of them.
They are such a cool looking bird that they were even voted “Bird of the Year” for 2020
I know I have written about them before, but I thought I would give you a refresher as I was so excited when I saw them.
Cedar Waxwings, boy how they love fruit! Good thing they come to the Okanagan with all the fruit we have here.
Did you know that you might see some Cedar Waxwings with an orange tip on their tail instead of yellow? This happens when eating a red pigment that had been picked up from berries of a certain Honeysuckle plant. When the Waxwing eats a lot of this berry while it’s new tail feathers are growing the tip of the feather could be orange, instead of yellow, I think that is pretty cool.
The Cedar Waxwing can survive just by eating fruit, for quite a few months, but if another bird species had dropped their eggs off in the Waxwings nest like a Brown Headed CowBird for instance, that little bird would not live.
Here is a problem that the beautiful Waxwings run into, sometimes they eat too much fruit, that they can become intoxicated and seem drunk, and unfortunately if the berries are overripe and fermented, they produce alcohol which can kill these little birds.
In 5 or 6 days the Female has a nest ready to go. It will probably take her about 2,500 -2,800 trips back and forth to gather and place the things she needs for her nest. Sometimes the female will just take gatherings from other nests that belong to birds like the Eastren Kingbird, Robins, Warblers, etc.this helps to save her time and energy.
In 2008 a Cedar Waxwing had been banded in Maryland. When he was re-captured then re-released in Maryland he was 7 years and one month old.
So if you see a Cedar Waxwing with an orange tail tip instead of yellow they probably ate too many berries from the HoneySuckle while growing their new tail feathers!