CHRONICLE: What a difference a tree makes (5 photos)

One windy, wintry day last week, I looked out the window and saw nine cedar waxwings sitting in the tree at the end of my patio.

This was remarkable for me as this is only the second time in many years that I have lived on the farm.

It made me think of that acacia tree at the end of the bridge and the many species of birds that have found a resting place there for my enjoyment and, I suspect, theirs.

Aside from a recent hiatus, I’ve been writing this column about the birds that have been passing through my home for over two years. Many columns feature birds landing in this tree. This is because there is a clear view from my kitchen window, across the patio to the tree. Imagine the shortage of material if the tree was not there.

As I mentioned here before, I have horrible cell phone reception, and a good place to talk is right next to my kitchen door which is a half window. I keep my camera handy and sometimes manage to talk and take pictures at the same time, sometimes with unclear results in either activity.

The Unexpected Wax Wings made me get poetic about the trees and other plantings that support birds, bees, butterflies, and of course, ourselves by clearing the air and offering observations.

A flower, a shrub, a tree:

Food, habitat, wonder, beauty

Food for nature, you and me.

I may not be a poet, but I understand inspiration.

Specific birds tend to prefer certain specific trees for reasons ranging from the fruit they can produce to the height or density of growth. Likewise, trees, shrubs, and flowering plants generally provide habitat and shelter.

“To attract waxwings to your garden, plant native trees and shrubs that bear small fruit, such as dogwood, serviceberry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winterberry,” allaboutbirds suggests. .org. They eat the whole fruit, including the seeds, unlike some birds. The seeds pass through the bird and are dispersed for eventual plant regeneration.

They like berries and they also eat insects, sometimes on the fly while zigzagging above the water.

Cedar waxwings are said to get their name from the red tips of the secondary wing feathers reminiscent of the sealing wax used to seal envelopes and official documents.

They also have yellow tail tips and a face mask which adds an air of mystery to this elegant looking bird. I noticed that they are described as thin and about the size of a starling. The birds in my tree were puffed up to protect themselves from the wind.

Cedar waxwings have increased their range and population over the past 20 years. Birdsoftheworld.org states: “Several factors may have contributed to this growth in range and numbers: the creation of edge habitats suitable for fruit trees and shrubs, especially when farmland regenerates to forest; planting fruit trees and shrubs in rural and urban areas; and, perhaps, the reduction of harsh pesticides in many forms of agriculture.

When landscaping this spring, please consider the difference one tree can make and, where possible, choose native plantings.

It seems that migratory patterns are not fully understood, but cedar waxwings are social birds that form large flocks that come and go in terms of numbers. The birds in my tree headed south from here. It occurs to me that maybe because of the weather they were turning around and going back to warmer climes.

Either way, I’m glad they stopped by and added some heat to my day.

I share experiences of bird visits to this property every few weeks. Until next time, keep an eye to the sky and look for any passing birds.

Rosaleen Egan is a freelance journalist, storyteller and playwright. She blogs on her website rosiewrites.com.

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