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Archive for August 12, 2011

Cedar Waxwings Nesting

While the nestlings of most species of birds have fledged, some cedar waxwings are still incubating eggs.  Known for being one of the last species to nest, a waxwing on a nest in mid-August is probably on its second brood.  Both the male and female collect nesting material, but it is the female who does most of the nest construction, and all of the incubation of the eggs.  The cup nest is constructed with a wide variety of material, including twigs, grasses, cattail down, moss, string, horsehair, dead leaves, cloth, shredded bark, roots, leaves, ferns, stalks of herbs and flower blossoms.  Occasionally the exterior of the nest is decorated with ornate plant material, such as the lichen (Usnea , or Old Man’s Beard) in the photograph.