More Cedar Waxwings

If you visit here regularly, you know that Cedar Waxwings are one of my favorite photographic subjects. They’ve always struck me as being rather elegant.

Cedar Waxwing

I’ll have to admit that I was a little puzzled Sunday when I saw a small flock of them flying around a tall fir tree. When I noticed that almost of them had their beaks wide open,

Cedar Waxwing

I half assumed that they were flying down, getting a blackberry and then flying back to the safety of the tree to it eat. I discarded that theory after I’d observed them for awhile and realized that they never left the fir tree, but simply flew a short distance and returned to the tree and sat there with their beak open.

Waxwing about to jump

The puzzle was solved when I finally got home and blew up this picture enough to see the insect just out of range of this Waxwing’s beak.

Waxwing Pursuing Insect

It turned out a they weren't flying as much as they were simply hopping up to catch insects, only using their wings to land safely after launching themselves mid-air.

8 thoughts on “More Cedar Waxwings

  1. hi loren, that’s amazing! i love learning about birds and bugs and all the other living things that occupy this world of ours. they have developed strategies that are so simple and yet at first glance either make no sense or seem improvised. great shots. steven

  2. Wonderful pictures!
    I have a small cedar waxwing – the upper beak goes *through* the lower beak so the parts are criscrossed. I was looking up to see if that was normal (I don’t know anything about birds/beaks) – and as your pictures show – it certainly isn’t.

  3. Wow, what great shots! I love Waxwings too.

    I’ve never seen them jumping up for insects but have seen flycatchers do it – of course, that’s why they’re named that. Didn’t realize Cedar Waxwings did it as well. Love the one with the insect – such motion in the picture.

  4. Hi Deborah.Believe it or not, I too am a Deborah and live in Eastern MA. not far from the airport. Couldn’t believe seeing your question on the waxwing’s beak. We also came across the same thing only it was plainly hurt and; not doing well. It looked as it might have flown into a wall or window,the beak taking the impact,pushing the lower beak up & the upper beak down exactly as you have described. It was sadly locked into placeand raw at the base near his head. I called our police station’s animal control officer to see if he could help get him treated somewhere fast since it was late Sun.afternoon in early Aug.too! We were at opposite ends of townand it took 15 min. for the officer and I to both drive to a meeting place which would be the fastest way to get things going.The beautiful little bird died in my hand as I held him out to the officer. I hoped it wasn’t since I tried to release its beak so it wouldn’t stay so horribly pained but could only budge it a speck but maybe it was too much for him.Hopefully he was still in shock and couldn’t feel.Totally Sad! Not a great way to experience my 1st and last waxwing so far. I know I’ll see more and well ones. Do you know if yours made out ok or was this in passing?

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