I looked out the kitchen window early in the morning a couple of weeks ago, and noticed a flurry of activity, as cedar waxwings flew back and forth, through our and neighbors' yards, carrying red berries in their beaks.
It was only a matter of time before they would raid the neighbor's Toyon shrubs Heteromeles arbutifolia, which have been producing lots of red berries.
And this must have been the perfect day for it.
These photos show just a few of these birds that were gobbling up the berries that morning, because there were at least forty of them.
In the photo at the top, you can see the red wax colored tips of the wing feathers on the bird to the left, along with the bright yellow tipped tail.
I have never seen anything like this, and I was very lucky to observe the activity, because after the major raid of the berries, most of the berries are gone. And I haven't seen any waxwings or other birds on the Toyon shrubs again.
Here they are, feasting on the berries.
Look at the tail feathers spread on the waxwing to the lower right, tipped with bright yellow.
Sometimes waxwings will feed each other, lining up on a branch and passing the berry down. But there are several of these shrubs growing next to each other to form a huge hedge, with berries everywhere.
So the birds didn't need to help each other, they could just pick any berry in sight.