Montana Outdoors

November 15, 2014

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

The berries they are eating are from the Red Hawthorn AKA Columbian Hawthorn, Crataegus Columbiana.



  1. Lovely shots.


    Comment by Boeta — November 15, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  2. One of my favourite birds. You sure got nice clear shots of them. Very sharp!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — November 15, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    • I’ve always admired the Waxwings; they are so pretty. There are lots of them here and they’ve been around all summer. Hard to photograph though until today when they were feeding in good light.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 15, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

  3. Glorious! and so special. We see the waxwings from time to time, but when they come through, they linger only long enough to eat whatever they can find, and then they’re gone. They’re greedy little birds, and usually can strip a tree of its berries pretty quickly. But they’re so handsome.


    Comment by shoreacres — November 15, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

    • They are known for traveling (or living too, I suppose) in big flocks. Since they like these berries there is a very large food supply for them. There are over a hundred of these trees in a half mile section of that hillside. The berries are not all that bad tasting, although they are seedy. I eat quite a few of them myself every fall.


      Comment by montucky — November 15, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

  4. I love the colours in these shots! I think it’s the first time I’ve actually seen close up shots of a bird swallowing like this. Gorgeous.


    Comment by Jane — November 15, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

    • This was the first really good chance that I’ve had to photograph them and I got about a dozen nice photos today. They are beautiful and pleasant birds and I enjoy having them around. Those are excellent berries for these birds and very plentiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 15, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

  5. great images. I’d love to get a few myself but not many of them hang out in my neck of the woods. Mostly woodpeckers for me this time and year and they are very good at staying on the back side of the tree.


    Comment by Anjmacz — November 15, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

    • These guys seem to realize that they have a pretty good place to hang out among all of the Hawthorns. Lots of food and protection provided by the thorns. We still have a good population of woodpeckers, Downys and Flickers. Also the ever-loyal Chickadees and Juncos.


      Comment by montucky — November 15, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

      • It is my goal this winter to capture the elusive birds in and around my little cabin. I know there are a few Juncos and Chickadees but they stick close to the neighbours feeders. This time of year the woods seem very quite with all the summer birds gone.


        Comment by Anjmacz — November 15, 2014 @ 11:52 pm

        • I used to put bird seed out, but found that they greatly prefer sunflower seeds, and so I put some of those out every morning for the birds and chipmunks. Soon the chipmunks will be sleeping and that will leave more for the birds. I think it really helps them when the weather is really cold and the snow is deep. Chickadees especially become quite friendly.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 12:16 am

  6. Wow, what gorgeous birds, and excellent photos! We sometimes get flocks of Bohemian Waxwings in winter, coming down from Scandinavia.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — November 16, 2014 @ 1:05 am

    • I had not heard of Bohemian Waxwings and so had to look them up. They must be very close relatives, and I see from their distribution that they may be winter visitors here. I will watch for them.


      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 1:13 am

  7. I love the photos, stunning action shots.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — November 16, 2014 @ 1:06 am

    • Thanks. Action shots they were. The birds hardly stopped moving for more than a second. Fortunately they let me get pretty close.


      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 1:15 am

  8. Great shots!


    Comment by centralohionature — November 16, 2014 @ 4:22 am

  9. Gorgeous bird! Love the photos. You did a fantastic job! ❤


    Comment by Lucy — November 16, 2014 @ 4:25 am

  10. Wonderful shots.


    Comment by Vicki — November 16, 2014 @ 5:25 am

  11. I had to laugh at these. For a minute I thought he had bitten off more than he could chew. It’s amazing how they can swallow such a mouthful. Those are great shots of a very pretty bird.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — November 16, 2014 @ 7:04 am

    • They can really swallow a mouthful, can’t they! Those berries are quite good though and very useful. The Indians here used them in their pemmican recipes.


      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

  12. Nice to see this photo. We rarely see cedar waxwings in Georgia.


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — November 16, 2014 @ 8:19 am

    • The Cornell Lab distribution map shows that they can winter in all of North America, but I wonder how many actually go that far south. Most of the ones here stay with us all year.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  13. Waxwings are the perfect bird. Thought I saw a few in a tree along the creek last week, but couldn’t focus on them. I’ll have to take the binoculars even on a casual walk. They do sometimes pose perfectly.


    Comment by Lynn Millar — November 16, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    • I’ve found that they pose best when they are in earnest about stuffing their tummies, and these certainly were doing that!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

  14. Fabulous! How long did you sit for these?


    Comment by 2ndhalfolife — November 16, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

    • I got very lucky and caught these in the middle of their dinner hour and they were very interested in the berry fare. That, and the trees in which they were feeding were in very good shooting light.


      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

  15. You take the most beautiful photographs. I truly love your blog. 🙂


    Comment by orples — November 16, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

    • Thanks! The subject matter in these parts, especially in the wild country, makes up for a lot of deficiencies in equipment and skill!


      Comment by montucky — November 16, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

  16. What a beautiful bird it is! Your photos are, too! 🙂


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — November 17, 2014 @ 5:11 am

    • Thanks Teresa. They are quiet little birds but very pleasant and graceful. Their colors are a little brighter during breeding season. I’m glad that they like those berries because they are so plentiful.


      Comment by montucky — November 17, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  17. What a wonderful, perfectly timed shot! 🙂


    Comment by FeyGirl — November 17, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    • Timed, as in “lucky”! They would move very quickly but kept coming back to the same places so I cold pick them up easily in the view finder.


      Comment by montucky — November 17, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

  18. I love these birds…so beautiful!


    Comment by zannyro — November 17, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

  19. Hi Montucky, The Cedar Waxwings sure are lovely! Outstanding pictures of the bird and berries. Have a great day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — November 17, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

    • Thanks wildlifewatcher! I hope you have a wonderful day too!


      Comment by montucky — November 17, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

  20. Very nice “action” photos.


    Comment by Sartenada — November 20, 2014 @ 3:24 am

  21. That looked like a pretty big meal. They’re such pretty birds. We have them here but I never see them.


    Comment by Candace — November 20, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

    • I haven’t seen them in the last few days. Maybe that was their traveling meal!


      Comment by montucky — November 20, 2014 @ 7:48 pm

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