I photographed these Cedar Waxwings in March, 2013 at South Llano State Park. Waxwings are gregarious and true to this description I saw many of them.
Red, waxy tips on secondary wing feathers are often indistinct and sometimes absent altogether. All waxwings have sleek crests, silky plumage and yellow-tipped tails. Where berries are ripening, waxwings come to feast in amiable, noisy flocks. [description taken from one of my favorite birding books “National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America.]
The “Smithsonian Handbook: Birds of North America, Western Region” states the description of the red, waxy tips differently. It states – the purpose of the “red wax” is long-debated, but younger birds do not have it and the older birds that do often choose each other as mates and produce more young that the younger pairs.
Waxwings eats fruit, flower petals and insects; and drinks sap. One way to distinguish between males and females is the color of the throat. Females have a brownish throat, the males a blackish throat.
I might have mentioned before, South Llano State Park in Junction, Texas is one of my all time favorites.