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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 11:10   #1
woody140
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: elgin moray
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Solo Waxwing Sortieing

Whilst watching a single Waxwing at the top of a tall tree for over an hour. Apart from the occasional flight down to a nearby Rowan for a snack, it regularly flew out about 10m or so, as if fly catching. Then returning to the same spot at the top of the tree to maintain, what appeared to be it's sentry duty.
I wondered if it was indeed fly catching, or is it advertising itself, looking for it's fellow species.

Anyone else seen this behaviour?
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 16:10   #2
Nutcracker
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
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Yep, flycatching, quite normal for Waxwings. Flies contain a lot more protein than berries, so if there's any at all still around, they'll go for them in preference to berries. In summer, the vast majority of their food is flying insects (primarily mosquitos).

I've also seen Waxwings picking aphids off Sycamore leaves in autumn before the last leaves fall, again they preferred that to nearby Rowan berries.
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Old Tuesday 14th November 2017, 21:24   #3
birdmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Yep, flycatching, quite normal for Waxwings. Flies contain a lot more protein than berries, so if there's any at all still around, they'll go for them in preference to berries. In summer, the vast majority of their food is flying insects (primarily mosquitos).

I've also seen Waxwings picking aphids off Sycamore leaves in autumn before the last leaves fall, again they preferred that to nearby Rowan berries.
Agreed! Flycatching is a very common behavior in Cedar Waxwings, too.
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