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Cedar waxwings: They will eat no toyon berry before its time.

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 at 6:10 am in Birds, Cedar waxwings, Toyon berries.

Cedar waxwing eating toyon berry. Photo by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.

4/7/09, 11:29 a.m.: I noticed lots of birds flying around the toyons in my yard and grabbed the camera. The photos are a bit dark but they show fine detail of some of the birds’ features. They got spooked by my camera or something else and flew away to a neighboring tree. I would estimate over 100 in the flock. I will try to get shots later with better light.

Cedar waxwings. Photo by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.

4/7/09, 2:17 p.m.: The Cedar Waxwings keep coming back today to feed on toyon berries but they are shy. The best I have been able to do since the earlier shots is to photograph them from their staging areas over 100 feet away. I am leaving them alone to feed for now. They are voracious!
Note that there are also toyons on Acalanes Ridge just a few blocks away but our yard has a high density of the plants and they are visible from a large distance.
American robins make similar forays to our toyons most years but we have not seen that many of them this season.

Cedar waxwing. Photo by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.

4/7/09, 5:11 p.m.: The cedar waxwings got seriously hungry later this afternoon and landed in my western cedar before going back to strip most of the remaining berries from a nearby toyon.
Don’t worry, I won’t send any more. I am probably overloading your mailboxes. Sorry.
Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Don’t stop! These are wonderful!

They may be devouring your toyon berries because they are riper than the berries on Acalanes Ridge. Cedar waxwings and robins can quickly tell (by color and taste) which berries are the ripest and they will hit those berries first.

I’d say they had a “sweet tooth,” but everybody knows birds don’t have teeth. /Gary

Cedar waxwings. Photo by Bob Brittain, Walnut Creek, Calif.

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6 Responses to “Cedar waxwings: They will eat no toyon berry before its time.”

  1. Heather Says:

    Such wonderful pictures! I agree they are very shy. I tried to get some pictures when they were stripping the berries from my ligustrum tree but couldn’t get close enough. Thank you for sharing!

  2. marjorie fletcher Says:

    bob, thought you’d like to know they are still in the bay area. first saw them last thursday evening about five-thirty in a nearby tree as i was on my way out to dinner. the rain has been heavy and i have been busy this weekend, but early this evening i saw them again, in the same tree, when i returned home. flock after flock (some with only 15 or so individuals and others that were comprised of more than 50) swooped in from the west, alit in that tree, rested and then flew south. amazing. my neighbor has seen them some mornings in a japanese plum across the street, and so i will watch both early in the day and a dinnertime. what a treat.
    thanks for your great photos.

    marjorie fletcher, north berkeley

  3. Dimplez Says:

    these are great pictures but I think with your talnet you should do more of nature like lakes,oceans,ponds, waterfalls,sunsets,rare birds ect.I will be checking up to see if you put some thought an what I’m telling you.BY BY

  4. Harold Says:

    Can a Cedar waxwing be raised in a bird cage?

  5. betty schultz Says:


  6. Terre Says:

    Thank you for the marvelous photos! I love these birds.

    PS: Please don’t put a cedar waxwing in a cage.

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