They love fruit, especially, in the Fall when it is ripe. I suspect that following the fruit, as it ripens, is included in their decision-making process. Weather can vary greatly from year to year and, in turn, it can impact when and where fruit ripens. Nonetheless, when they find fruit, sometimes, they stay until it's gone, and sometimes they do not. The mystery continues.
I have watched them feeding on a Cotoneaster bush that was heavily laden with fruit. The next day, ninety percent of the berries were still there and the Waxwings were gone. Maybe, they only use Cotoneaster as fuel, to power their search for something sweeter.
On the other hand, I have found them feasting on the fruit of Hawthorn trees, more than once. On October 29th, they were on Foster Island feeding on the bright red berries. By the time I found them, the fruit was getting fairly sparse and much of what was left looked like it was past its prime. A week later, I could not find them on Foster Island or anywhere else nearby.
- The mosaic of colors on their folded wings and
- The rufous feathering of their under-tail coverts.
Japanese Waxwings are found in Japan and nearby in Northeastern Asia. Cedar Waxwings are typically found only in North America. Bohemian Waxwings are much more dispersed. Depending on the time of year, they can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America.
The next two links dynamically display 52 weeks of sightings for the Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings. Be sure to press the white triangle, found on the blue background, to get the maps moving.
For the Bohemian Waxwings you should start by clicking once on the plus sign, to enlarge the globe, then rotate the globe so that you are looking at Greenland. This is the best perspective for seeing the all the Bohemian migrations at one time. (Then click on the white triangle.)
Both the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings migrate east to west, as well as north and south.
Sadly, there is no dynamic display for the Japanese Waxwing. Unlike the other two species, their annual migration appears to be more of a conventional, north-to-south movement.
You will not be able to enter the Birds of the World online application unless you are a member. However, as a guest, should still be able to see their range map, by scrolling down slightly.
By the way, Birds of the World is a wonderful resource and it is available free with a Washington Ornithological Society membership.
This is only the second time in a dozen years that I found a Bohemian Waxwing in the Arboretum. According to Birdweb, the Bohemian Waxwings are irregular visitors to Puget Sound. I understand this to mean, they are even less common here than birds classified as "rare". Needless to say, I was quite excited to see this bird.Bohemian Waxwings weigh roughly twice as much as Cedar Waxwings. They also have more of a gray tint, which is most obvious when directly compared to the beige back of a Cedar Waxwing. The Bohemian is on the left.
1) Learn and leave established native flora undisturbed.2) Remove invasive species and then wait to see if native plants begin to grow without assistance. (When native plants start on their own, then these plants or trees are likely the most appropriate flora for the habitat.)3) Scatter seeds from nearby native plants in a similar habitat.4) If you feel you must add a new plant then select a native plant while considering how the plant fits with the specific habitat and understanding the plant's logical place in the normal succession of native plants.
Keystone native plants are an important new idea. Douglas Tallamy, in the book "Nature's Best Hope ", explains that caterpillars supply more energy to birds, particularly young birds in their nests, than any other plant eater. He also mentions that 14% of our native plants, i.e. Keystone Plants, provide food for 90% of our caterpillars. This unique subset of native plants and trees enables critical moths, butterflies, and caterpillars that in turn provide food for the great majority of birds, especially during the breeding season.
Note: Flowering plants and trees, i.e. those pollinated by bees, are also included as Keystone Plants.
This video explains the native keystone plants very nicely:
The Top Keystone Genera in our ecoregion i.e. Plants and trees you might want in your yard:
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