Cedar Waxwings in the Don Valley: October 19, 2020

Cedar Waxwing numbers are highly unpredicatble.

Cedar Waxwings

Here in numbers one day, then gone for days or months.

Cedar Waxwing

I have seen them in apple blossom time in spring (devouring the petals),

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwings with grapes

again when the honeysuckle berries are ripe in summer,

Cedar Waxwings with grapes
Cedar Waxwings with grapes

or busy flycatching over some northern stream.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing

During some winters they descend en masse to eat mountain ash berries, multiflora rose or other bushes with persistent fruit.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing with grapes

Other birds on this dark, rainy morning:

Mallard (female)
European Starlings
European Starlings
European Starlings
American Robin
American Robin eating grapes
American Robin
American Robin

Bird species list: mallard, red-tailed hawk, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, cedar waxwing, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, European starling, northern cardinal. (12 species)

Today’s group (with friendly Doberman):

Valley scenes:

Some botany:

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
Red Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera)
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
Basswood (Tilia americana)
Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus inserta)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)


In the dreamy silence
Of the afternoon, a
Cloth of gold is woven
Over wood and prairie.       – Alexander Posey (1873–1908) 

Miles Hearn

5 thoughts on “Cedar Waxwings in the Don Valley: October 19, 2020

  1. Gloria James

    Despite the wet conditions I enjoyed visiting Beechwood. I have never lived close to the Don River or Valley.
    I was reading some info about the Cedar Wax Wings. Large flocks tend to gather in the fall and they like to gorge on fermented berries. They have beautiful plumage.

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Wonderful! Not the cold rain, perhaps–but I was in it today (my daily neighbourhood walk with Max, my dog), and again, fall colours are gorgeous in the rain, in my opinion! We were both dressed for it, and we managed. At least it wasn’t a downpour, which would have precluded as much of a walk as we did.
    I loved the Cedar Waxwings and everything else in these pictures, too!

  3. Diana Chastain

    In Florida in winter, I once saw large flocks (50 or more?) of cedar waxwings all landing in trees and sitting silently. I guessed there was a hawk around. Very impressive.

    I also love the fuscia coloured wing tips (the wax?) on some of these birds though I don’t see this in these photos.

    Diana Chastain

  4. Carolyn Ernest Jones

    Hello Miles thank you for your keeping us on the list. We had such a good time with you and the other people who came as well. I hope the weather is not too cold for you yet. We miss being in Canada but it was time to come home and we live in a village which is in an area called An area of outstanding beauty. Hopefully we will one day come back, but obviously not with Covid here and hope that it is not too bad in Toronto. We miss you, take care and hopefully we will get back one day!
    We both send our regards.
    Carolyn EJ and of course Graham too!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *