I’ve captured some amazing specimens while out bird hunting (with the Nikon camera), but when I looked at the images of the mostly tawny body, crested head and black bandit mask I’d captured the other day on South Mountain, I darn near danced. I’d always had a sneaking suspicion Cedar waxwings existed only in the Hallmark store, like the ornament my sister sent me as a tree decoration one recent Christmas. Until the other day, on South Mountain.
Cedar waxwings live in Pennsylvania year-round, but their population thins as one looks southerly on a map. According to my bird book, they can be found in winter as far south as Georgia, and seem to favor small mountains and berry bushes. I found them at nearly 1,900 feet above sea level, in a spot where a nearly non-existent breeze was made stronger and cooler as it channeled up a dent in the ridge. That breeze and the blueberry barrens near where I found them was what drew them.