Courtship Cedar Waxwing Style

This pair of Cedar Waxwings (a species of bird that seems to be a fan favorite based on number of Likes & comments on my Facebook posts) were sitting in an old mulberry tree at the edge of our driveway. The behavior seems to be courtship dancing, but the timing is very odd this being January. If you have another explanation please communicate it in the comments.

Here’s a description of Cedar Waxwing courtship-dancing from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of the World (

“Typical courtship display in which mates alternately approach one another on a perch with hopping movements, sometimes touching bills. Usually initiated by the male; successful when the female reciprocates (Putnam 1949). This display is termed the Courtship Dance or Courtship-Hopping (Silloway 1904Crouch 1936Lea 1942). Courtship-Hopping begins in migrant flocks, and has been noted as early as Apr in California (Feltes 1936) and in Ohio (Putnam 1949). Courtship-Hopping often includes passing a small item (usually food item such as a fruit, insect, or flower petal, but sometimes inedible items, and occasionally object-passing may be merely simulated, with no object actually passed; Figure 3) between male and female, interspersed with short hops away from and back toward the mate.”

The pictures are in the sequence taken on January 15, 2021 in Decatur, Georgia:

These were shot with my Olympus OMD EM1X, 300mm F4 Pro + MC-14 (1.4 extender)

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