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Cedar Waxwings with City Business District

Frank N. Bassett
Publication Information
4 (July-August)
From Field and Study

Cedar Waxwings Visit City Business District

The thought of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) is usually associated with the country or the park and suburban districts of the cities. It was therefore with surprise that I met with them in the downtown district of San Francisco amid the clang of street cars and the roaring of trucks. At the corner of Ellis and Taylor streets there is a gasoline service and parking station in the corner of which there is a small plot containing about a dozen small shrubs banked against the back of a tall building. Three of these (Cotoneaster panosa) were sparsely in fruit and on the morning of October 14, 1929, I was startled to see about ten Cedar Waxwings feeding on these berries. I watched them about half a minute when they flew up uttering their tremulous calls and disappeared over the tall buildings.

These birds had flown a mile or more over tall buildings from whichever direction they had come, and the small spot which had attracted them was hidden among the buildings in the noisiest part of the city and contained only three small fruiting shrubs. Truly, they are living up to their reputation as the champions of wanderers!

Frank N. Bassett

San Francisco, California, March 19, 1930

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