Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum
July 05, 2012
Cedar Waxwing populations supposedly have increased over the last 20 years. I am inclined to believe it, as I feel that this is a bird I would rarely see when I was younger, but now I hear its trilling, whistling calls on a regular basis. Part of the reason for this is that I live near a canal that connects to Lake Michigan. The canal has many fruit bearing trees upon which waxwings voraciously feed. Another quality of the canal that the waxwings are attracted to, is that it provides border habit. Trees bordering the water provide overhanging branches for the waxwings to launch in to their dips and dives after the many insects that hover over the water.
When I started making this watercolor, it quickly began to register as a Christmas-y image, with the greens and the berries. In the cycle of Cedar Waxwings, however, this is very much a summer image. Their diet is very reliant on sugary fruits. So much so that their breeding season is later in the summer to coincide with the abundance of fruit.
I've just always loved their coloring, and their little bandito masks. Their gregarious, active nature, gives them an air of mischievousness.
It's been hard to get outside to do much of anything here, birding included, due to the unbearable heat. I hope wherever you are it's not too hot, and if it is, you have power, or at least access to a nice swimmin' hole!