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Cedar waxwing        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Cedar waxwings are lovely, highly social fruit-eating birds with black masks, short, neat crests and red 'waxy' structures on some of the wing feathers -- barely visible here -- that give them their name.   Cedar waxwings are famous for sitting in a row on fruit-laden branches while passing a fruit from one bird to another.   They are solitary when breeding but form large flocks in the winter.   Cedar waxwings are much better known than their more northerly relative, the bohemian waxwing.   These wintering birds were feeding on palm fruits near Palm Desert, on pyracantha berries in Yucaipa, and coming to water at Big Morongo, all in California.

  • Canon 1D Mk. II, 1D4, or 7D2; 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, most with fill-in flash (2006, 2011, 2015)