For a few days in October each year, we get a kick out of watching a flock of Cedar Waxwings clean all the berries off our dogwood shrubs. Although they are in the upper Midwest all summer, I mostly see them in my yard during spring and fall migration.
For 2 years now, we have seen the juvenile Cedar Waxwings. Their identity is easily mistaken since they don’t have the same air-brushed look of the adults. The juveniles are gray with a streaked chest. They don’t get their signature red wing tips and polished look until the second year.
I usually hear them; that’s how I know they’re in the yard. They make a number of sounds, but this time of year they make a high-pitched squeaky call that sounds like ‘zeeee, zeeet or sreee’.
Late nesting allows them to take advantage of all the late summer and early fall fruit and berries. They are susceptible to intoxication or death from eating fermented berries. So if you see some drunk birds in your yard, maybe there are some fermenting berries around! LOL
You can watch an adult Cedar Waxwing eating berries and a juvenile perched in a tree at Cornell’s site.