Yellow-rumped Warblers and Cedar Waxwings sharing the berries of a cedar tree in Waukesha County. Photographs taken October 19, 2013.
Binomial name: Setophaga coronata
Description: Both males and females have gray streaks, white on wings, and yellow rumps. Males have black streaking on slate blue backs while females also have brown steaks. Both have black bills and legs.
Size: 4.7″-5.9″ long, 7.5” – 9.4” wingspan
Weight: 0.39 oz. – 0.49 oz.
Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, mountains
Diet: Insects such as beetles, ants, aphids, grasshoppers, and spiders, as well as berries, fruits, and seeds
Nesting: The female builds the nest on a conifer branch out of grass, pine needles, twigs, and feathers. The male may help supply materials. The clutch size is 1 to 6 eggs, usually 3 or 4, with 1 to 2 broods laid per season. The female incubates the eggs for 12 or 13 days and the young can fledge after 10 to 14 days.
Notes: Four related species are often lumped together as the Yellow-rumped Warbler: Myrtle Warbler, Audobon’s Warbler, Mexican black-fronted Warbler, and Guatemalan Goldman’s Warbler.
Binomial name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Description: Pale brown on and chest with gray wings and tail. Pale yellow belly with and a bright yellow tip on the tail. Black mask on the face outlined in white and red drops on wings. Black bill and legs.
Size: 5.5” – 6.7” long, 8.7” – 11.8” wingspan
Weight: 1.1 oz.
Habitat: Open woodlands, orchards, and residences, particularly locations with fruit and berry sources
Diet: Berries, fruits, insects, and cedar cones
Nesting: The courtship ritual involves the male doing a “hopping” dance. If a female is interested, she’ll “hop” back. Mating couples will pass small objects between each other such as flowers or food and may rub bills affectionately. Females handle most of the nest-building using twigs, grass, feathers, and animal hair. 4 to 6 eggs will be laid per clutch with 1 to 2 broods per season, and the female incubates them for 11 to 13 days. Both parents will care for the young.
Notes: Unlike most birds, the Cedar Waxwing specializes in eating fruit. Instead of separating and regurgitating seeds from fruit and berries as most birds do, Cedar Waxwings will pass them. Occasionally if fruit has become overripe, Cedar Waxwings may ingest too much and become intoxicated or even die.
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Jim – the warblers here move quickly in and out of the pagoda dogwood branches. It’s great that you captured their calm side – and gave us a chance to study their beauty. Cedar stains across our steps and deck mean waxwings are finding a favorite food. Gorgeous bird – love how you show the distinctive red tips of wing feathers. Thanks!
Excellent images, Jim! I love how you caught the individual wax tips on the Waxwing, among the many other great details you caught. My eyes are very pleased after the viewing – happy! Super fantastic photography!