Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The mulberries are ripening...

...so here come the Cedar Waxwings!

Cedar Waxwings perch in the big mulberry tree in our backyard.
Every year late in May and early in June, flocks of Cedar Waxwings swoop into our backyard to raid the mulberry trees, gobbling up the juiciest berries as they ripen on the branches. This Saturday as we sat down to dinner on the deck, a large flock arrived in a flurry of excitement and anticipation. Singing their beautiful high-pitched tseeee tsee tseeeee song while on the wing, we heard them coming before we saw them, and then what a free-for-all! The sleek, elegant birds abandoned their usual aplomb and immediately tucked into the berries, devouring anything plump and juicy in sight, but it didn't stop there, they created a commotion by singing to each other, cuddling up along branches, hopping from here to there, then hopping back. It wasn't a complete feeding frenzy, but more like a social gathering where they were all saying things like, "Over here, these are the ripest berries," "No...no...don't listen to him, over here, sample these."  It went on and on until all the sweet, dark berries were gone, and only the underripe, hard berries remained. Then off to the next tree they flew!

Short and sweet 
The mulberry season is short and sweet, so the waxwings don't stick around in our backyard, but later in the summer and in the early fall, pokeweed berries lure the Cedar Waxwings back. Click here for an earlier post on pokeweed berries and Cedar Waxwings in our backyard.

6 comments:

Roy said...

Hmmmmm... I haven't noticed if our Mulberries are out yet. I'll have to check my brother's driveway, which is lined with them!

natureismytherapy.com said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! I miss having a mulberry tree for the Cedar Waxwings. Although I believe the huge tree in my new front yard is a cedar, so....maybe Cedar Waxwings will come to it. :) ~ Kim

Gordon said...

What a lovely photo, and one of my favourite birds, here in the UK we only get them in winter,and even then it can be hit and miss, it all depends on the weather in the Scandinavian countries where the come from.

Tammie Lee said...


Hi Kelly,

They are so beautiful.
Berries are wonderful for attracting the birds.

Frank Boxell said...

Hi Kelly,

Your words convey the magic of this delightful encounter.

Our version (Bohemian) is generally a rare sighting for me but only if they come further south during a very cold northern winter.

Best wishes to you and all the family.

Lynn Hasty said...

I used to have a mulberry tree. In my old yard. Indeed they brought in the birds! Happy Thursday! xo Lynn