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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Waning waxwings?

During the last couple of winters, we have enjoyed having big flocks of Cedar Waxwings in our area. Last year, in particular, it was not unusual to see 200-300 of the dapper birds descend upon one of the trees in my yard in the late afternoon. This winter has proved to be quite different.

The largest flock I have seen in my yard this winter was a group of 24. The more usual number has been small groups of 5-10, like the flock of 7 that perched in my neighbor's pear tree just on the other side of the fence in my backyard yesterday afternoon.

The waxwings are usually one of the last of our winter visitors to leave the area. Generally arriving in late December, it is not unusual for them to stay through the end of April. In some years, I've had them in my yard as late as mid-May.

Though the flocks have been small so far this winter, they may grow a bit in size as birds that have wintered farther south come through here on their way back north. Regardless of the size of the flock though, 5 or 500, these beautiful birds are always welcome and we enjoy them for as long as they choose to stay.

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