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This Morning Outside

by Diane Porter

December 14, 2013
Birdwatching Dot Com
Fairfield, Iowa

No bird is sleeker than a waxwing. I can't help wanting to reach out a finger and stroke the bird's smooth back.

This cedar waxwing is probably not very old. It's showing only one feather tipped with red. Adult waxwings can have up to nine waxy red tips on each wing, one for the end of each secondary feather. It takes a year or more for young cedar waxwings to get all their secondaries red tipped.

But they all have tails that look as if they've been dipped in yellow paint.

Cedar Waxwing

—Diane Porter

Chickadee on hand

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