Meanwhile Here at Home . . . Under Siege by Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings are among the most elegant and attractive birds, with sleek black mask edged in white, velvety gray-brown back, an upswept crest, lemon-yellow breast, and exquisite touches of gleaming red in the wing and yellow at the tip of the tail. All winter long, I enjoy hearing their high, thin calls, marveling at the way a flock moves together as one in flight, and admiring them when they perch in the top limbs of bare trees at the end of a day, facing the sun and turning to gold in the last of its light.

But! At this time of year, they often congregate in the two Savannah hollies around the front entrance of our house to eat the red berries – and make a mess. We came home from Kiawah to find at least four dozen or more eating holly berries and perched in the high bare limbs of the pecans and water oaks over the sidewalk and porch and driveway, dropping blotches of purple poop everywhere.

Yesterday I made the mistake of leaving my pickup in the driveway under a tree, and when I went out to run an errand late in the afternoon, I found it so encrusted with the droppings of Cedar Waxwings I had to clean off the windshield before driving – and then went straight to a carwash and spent half an hour scrubbing before doing anything else.

The birdbaths in the front yard have to be rinsed out two or three times a day at least, and I finally just emptied one and turned it upside down, and I don’t dare sit on the porch in my usual spot – with a dozen Cedar Waxwings perched in the limbs directly above me.

Oh well. It’s a small price to pay, I know. And it can’t be long before all the holly berries are gone. It’s probably a good reminder that Cedar Waxwings are not here for my benefit or to give me pleasure – if anything, they have more right to be here than I do.

So I shouldn’t complain – but it helps!

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