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Way Back When in Santa Barbara & Mesa Memories

"WAY BACK WHEN" WEDNESDAY - 100 years ago this week

WAY BACK WHEN WEDNESDAY - 100 years ago this week in Santa Barbara, tempers were flaring over this feathered beauty, the Cedar Waxwing. "The cedar bird is of undeniable beauty and interest to bird lovers everywhere," one person told the local paper and another added, "The cedar bird is pretty."

However, one article quoted an orchard owner who said that the bird, also nicknamed "the cherry bird" because of its fondness for fruit, destroyed cherries and cherry blossoms on his trees.

Writing in defense of the bird was William Leon Dawson, the founder of the egg museum that morphed into today's Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He suggested that it was not the Cedar Waxwings that caused the damage to blossoms. He blamed the Purple Finch. "I predict that when such an investigation is made, the Cedar Waxwing will be held not to be guilty as charged." (Image: New York Public Library)

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