The more I bird, the more I run into “what-the-heck” kinda moments like the one I observed the other day at Theler Wetlands. We have been seeing Cedar Waxwings for a couple of weeks now, so I was looking for them on this visit. As it turned out, these two were right in the middle of the trail and impossible to miss. The one on the left seemed quite upset
and expressed that dissatisfaction when the other Waxwing flew off.
The second Waxwing flew back with a berry in its beak and seemed to offer it to the first Waxwing.
When the second Waxwing still didn’t actually give it to the first Waxwing, the first Waxwing became even more demonstrative.
About then the second Waxwing spotted me on the trail, turned, and flew off.
The first Cedar Waxwing didn’t fly off immediately. It sat there as if waiting for the second one to come back with that berry.
I’m still not sure what was going on, but I assume it was a courtship ritual (gone awry ?) though I haven’t been able to confirm that yet from anything I’ve found on the internet. It is possible that the bird demanding the berry was last year’s offspring and it is still demanding to be fed, but that seems less likely to me than the idea it is part of a courtship ritual.