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Re: Bully robin:)

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  • kevinslucas
    In the past few weeks I ve not seen nor heard flocks of Cedar Waxwings at the Yakima Arboretum. From a couple of recent visits to Elmwood Cemetery in Toppenish
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 28, 2012
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      In the past few weeks I've not seen nor heard flocks of Cedar Waxwings at the Yakima Arboretum. From a couple of recent visits to Elmwood Cemetery in Toppenish it's clear to me that a place can have a huge flock, then none in a half hour, but I'd come to expect to see waxwings at the Arboretum on nearly every visit.
      I see on eBird that a large flock was sighted recently near 60th Avenue & Walnut.
      Can anyone share insights into what inspires their local patterns of movement -- temperature, snow, fruit crops, juniper berries (like at Elmwood), whim?

      Thanks,
      Kevin Lucas
      Yakima, WA

      --- In BirdYak@yahoogroups.com, "Angela" <ragsgolf@...> wrote:
      >
      > Just had fun watching a bully robin harassing a pair of cedar waxwings who were just trying to share the spoils from our ornamental pear tree! He finally gave up and rested at the top of the tree not more than a yard away from the pair. That pear tree has provided for many of our local bird friends both as a restaurant and rest stop. Interestingly the different variety of pear on the other side of our house usually isn't visited much until early spring. I think that fruit isn't as tasty to them until then. Or perhaps it just needs to age a bit like fine wine? All's quiet now. I just checked and robin and company have left the area. Sadly he took with him the flock of goldfinches, house finches, and sparrows who were visiting the feeders. He's a brave one. I bet he'll be back!
      >
    • Rich712@aol.com
      Kevin and Yakkers, Here is a clip from Birds of North America Online regarding Cedar Waxwings: Many aspects of the natural history of the Cedar Waxwing
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 28, 2012
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        Kevin and Yakkers,

        Here is a clip from Birds of North America Online regarding Cedar Waxwings:

        "Many aspects of the natural history of the Cedar Waxwing reflect its dietary specialization on sugary fruits. Its flocking and unpredictable nomadic movements are typical of animals that feed on patchily distributed foods, such as fruits. Even during the breeding season, the Cedar Waxwing exhibits much lower levels of return to former breeding sites than other passerines. In addition, the breeding season of the Cedar Waxwing is late in the year, coincident with the seasonal availability of summer-ripening fruits. The sociality of individuals within winter flocks and the lack of territoriality during the breeding season also are associated with the reliance of this species on locally superabundant fruit crops."

        Many paragraphs on the Cedar's preference of sugary fruits...it can live for two months on a diet solely of fruit. Our valley's orchadists might dispute the "patchily distributed" given the acreage devoted to fruits in the valley but that is summer and this is winter. BNA Online also mentions the Cedar's gape as a limiting factor for the size of fruit consumed. Anyone ever see them "bite" a chunk off a large fruit or are they gulpers...swallow it all or not at all?

        Therefore, it appears that fruit would be the primary attraction and/or reason to move. I also like the "whim"...winter finches also seem to appear and disappear from food sources. They have also been documented as dying from ingesting too many fermented fruits.

        Later,
        Rich







        -----Original Message-----
        From: kevinslucas <vikingcove@...>
        To: BirdYak <BirdYak@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 10:52 am
        Subject: [BirdYak] Re: Bully robin:)





        In the past few weeks I've not seen nor heard flocks of Cedar Waxwings at the Yakima Arboretum. From a couple of recent visits to Elmwood Cemetery in Toppenish it's clear to me that a place can have a huge flock, then none in a half hour, but I'd come to expect to see waxwings at the Arboretum on nearly every visit.
        I see on eBird that a large flock was sighted recently near 60th Avenue & Walnut.
        Can anyone share insights into what inspires their local patterns of movement -- temperature, snow, fruit crops, juniper berries (like at Elmwood), whim?

        Thanks,
        Kevin Lucas
        Yakima, WA
        #AOLMsgPart_1_94d32d99-0568-45be-b110-d5832fa993ac td{color: black;}






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