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Old Mar 31, 2009, 12:19 AM   #11
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You are right, Paul, in that it is a migratory thing. Cedar Waxwings can be found any where in the southern and central tiers of states in the winter, and on down into Mexico and Central America. They tend to concentrate where there are sources of berries, which they eat. In winter here Southern California they tend to frequent the ornamental Ficus trees around which they swarm like so many bees after the little figs they bear. They are actually very noisy and can be heard before they are seen flying between trees, but their calls are in so high a frequency that I and others, who have lost the ability to hear those high tones with advancing age, are no longer aware of their presence unless we see them. Bohemian Waxwings are more northern and seldom reach into the South.

An interesting fact is that the red wax that gives them their name is derived from red berries that they eat. They are unable to excrete the pigments (or their metabolites) by normal pathways, and so get rid of them by depositing them on the ends of the secondary flight feathers and sometimes even the tail feathers as new feathers are formed during the annual molt.
Hi penolta,

I'm constantly fascinated by the information in you posts. You are a valuable resource for the birders here.

Scott
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Old Mar 31, 2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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snostorm wrote:
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I'm constantly fascinated by the information in you posts. You are a valuable resource for the birders here.

Scott
Thank you Scott - I appreciate that. However, I hope it is not restricted to birders alone - every bit of knowledge shared by each of us helps us all appreciate the creatures around us a little more.
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