Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cedar Waxwing Fledgling Spotted in Camden, SC

I received an e-mail from a fellow birder a couple of days ago with photos of a fledgling Cedar Waxwing taken by her son, Kurt Krucke, on the deck of his house in Camden, South Carolina! 

Fledgling Cedar Waxwing -- July 7, 2011 -- photo by Kurt Krucke
Why is this significant -- other than the fact that the little fellow is so cute -- you might ask?!  Well, because South Carolina falls outside of  the normal breeding range for this species! The species report on Birds of North America Online shows the following range map.  And just as it shows, we only see this species in the winter and spring months.  Generally by the end of May, this bird has moved north, or perhaps west, towards the Appalachian mountains.

Map from Birds of North America Online species account for Cedar Waxwings           

I also delved into the archives of The Chat, the quarterly bulletin of the Carolina Bird Club, Inc -- Ornithological Society of the Carolinas.  And I found that records of nesting Cedar Waxwings in SC are rare as well.  So today I submitted this information with photos (with permission from Kurt)  to the editor of the "Briefs for the Files" of The Chat and to the web editor of the Carolina Bird Club site for inclusion in the photo gallery.

So to be specific, here's what Kurt reported:  He saw the little guy on the rail of his deck in the morning on July 7.  He heard a bird scolding in the tree that the baby bird came from, but he was not able to see the bird in the tree.  Perhaps that was the parent.  He has not seen the little one since that morning.   

I did see on the Birds of North America Online site that the Cedar Waxwing's population has increased in the past 20 years and its breeding range seems also to be expanding.  The researchers believe these increases and this expansion  may be due to "the creation of edge habitats conducive to fruiting trees and shrubs, especially as farmlands regenerate to forests; the planting of fruiting trees and shrubs in rural and urban areas; and, perhaps, the elimination of the use of DDT from agriculture."

I want to thank Kurt Krucke and his Mom for sharing this information and his photo with me so that I could share it with you!


  1. So Cute! I love its tiny little tail

  2. It's probably against some sort of bureaucratic policy for someone who works for Audubon to call a bird "cute," - but dang! That is such a cute bird! (And its significance is wonderful!)

  3. Hello! I have never seen a Cedar Waxwings before but this am I looked out my kitchen window and there were six drinking from my pond. I snapped a couple of pics. Beautiful birds. I live in Laurens County SC.