Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Masked visitors -

. . . . . of another kind!

Cedar waxwing: Bombycilla cedrorum

These are the Cedar waxwings stopping by the garden for a very quick visit to drink at the birdbaths. They are rarely seen because they're so quick both in flight and visiting. 
I've only caught them one other year, 2016 (see last photo), along with the visit this past week. While sitting near the window, a flock of about 20 waxwings descended out of nowhere, making their high-pitched whistling sound. . . . . . and I almost fell over myself trying to grab my camera! Unable to get a good shot of the group at the birdbaths, I did get a few of individuals perched for a minute in the fig tree. 
Besides their 'trendy' masks, you can see their fabulous red and yellow tips. Male and female have the same pointed crest and colors, the yellow belly and bright markings.

These sleek-looking beauties - they actually do look as if they have been dipped in wax - are partial migrators here in the Carolinaswandering in winter to find food supplies. Usually seen in flocks, they move from area to area looking for berries, spending most of their time at the tops of tall cedar trees eating the small blueberry-like cones.

This was the previous fleeting visit in 2016 when I also managed
 to get a few photos of these beautiful birds. 


  1. A rare occasion, and good that you were around and had your camera nearby! Do you usually keep the camera at hand near the windows from where you can see the birdbaths and other spots in your garden popular with winged visitors?

    1. Yes Meike, I always have my camera and/or iPhone at the ready by the windows! Never know what might come into view as the birds love the garden. . . .and of course the feeders and bird baths entice them.

  2. They're really pretty and you managed to get some great shots.

  3. These are absolutely gorgeous birds Mary. I have had them in my wild cherry trees but it is much later in the year. Take care and have a blessed week.

  4. What a gorgeous visitor to have in your garden Mary. Some winters we get small flocks of them passing through our garden, but as you probably know they do not breed here, and like yours they are winter visitors - they particularly enjoy our cotoneaster berries. I haven't seen them for two or three years now so I am envious of your beautiful feathered guests.

  5. Dearest Mary,
    Usually they stop by for stripping all the red berries on our Holly tree, on the corner of our veranda... and then you find the purplish poop on the wooden walkway as a 'reminder'. Haha.
    They are beautiful though!

  6. Mary, these are beautiful! thanks for your visits and notes. I've been a bit MIA. I apologize. I also appreciated your Christmas note. Life here has been a bit of a strain. We are good, but aging has it's challenges.
    All the best to you and Bob. I hope to be better about keeping in touch. I cherish our friendship.

  7. Oh Mary, they are so sweet .... you really do get the most amazing visitors in your garden. Nature in the garden is a wonderful thing. XXXX

  8. I can't tell you envious I am of the birds in your garden - oh to have waxwings.... But them maybe there will be gannets diving in the sea when I next go to the beach. Nature is such a delight.

  9. Darling Mary,

    Such a mood of the moment post! These masked marauders look so pretty and they really do appear to be wearing face masks of the kind one associates with Batman and Robin.....appropriate!

    Once again, your posts lift our spirits and make us aware of the beauty to be found in the natural world. You do have a most attractive set of visitors to your garden and it is wonderful to be able to share them virtually with you.

  10. Mary, you make so beautiful photos - to catch those birds in that quality you must have tons of knowledge and patience! Very, very lovely - and to me these birds are utterly exotic!

  11. They are gorgeous, even with their masks!


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