The wandering nomadic flocks of Cedar Waxwings are always a pleasure to see. I usually hear them before I see them, their trill, high-pitched calls signaling their presence, either flying overhead or perched above in some tall tree staging for an assault of a nearby fruiting tree or shrub. Hearing high-pitched sounds is not as easy for me as it once was, so it was by sight that I first became aware of a flock here at the Museum last week.
The birds were flying to and from loblolly pines to a group of red cedar trees next to the Sail Boat Pond in Catch the Wind. They were laying bare the fruit of the cedars, as waxwings are known to do. The flocks spot a likely source of fruit, holly berries, Pyracantha, or fruit laden cedar tree, assault the tree or shrub for however long it takes to render it fruitless, then fly off to find a new source of berries.
I photographed the berries of this same group of cedars for a display case in Explore the Wild during late Fall of last year. The trees were loaded with fruit.
There were about a hundred waxwings in the flock. What follows is a dozen photos of some of the birds as they flew in to perch on a nearby tree or hunt for berries.
Later that afternoon, the birds were gone.