Photo credit: Ella Ruth Morgan

Cedar waxwings are social birds, often found flocked in fruit trees. Possumhaw Holly (Ilex decidua) berries may not be a favorite food source for these native birds, but this time of year they’ll take what they can get. They swallow the berries whole, sometimes plucking them off a branch in mid-flight. They’ll also fly over water to hunt insects.

As seen in the picture, cedar waxwings can be identified by pale yellow bellies, a yellow band on the tip of their tail feathers and black bandit masks outlined in white.

Things are getting a lil’ freaky around here now that Elbowbush, Forestiera pubescens, is in bloom. One of the first flowers to appear in spring, this native shrub provides an important food source for insects ending their winter dormancy. It just goes to show that you don’t always need to be the biggest and brightest to shine like a star!!!

Tucked away in the back corner of our amphitheater, delicate Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana) blooms are bravely holding steady on this cool and windy day. This native has a beautiful flower, similar to other fruiting trees in the Prunus family, that smells divine. It’s a host plant for the Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and other pollinators go crazy for its nectar.

Finally, board members and staff of Texas Botanical Gardens & Native American Interpretive Center send our heartfelt condolences to the family of Terry Fischer. We invite you to come into the gardens to see Terry’s beautiful photography displayed in our Birder’s Garden.