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.
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.
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