Cedar Waxwing

Scientific Name: Bombycilla cedrorum

Interesting Info: The Cedar Waxwing is an interesting bird. Flocks can descend on a bush with berries and strip it within minutes, and if the berries have fermented these bird can actually get drunk! The wings have red waxy tips, but their purpose is unknown.

Habitat: Cedar Waxwings can be found in deciduous, coniferous, or mixed woodlands, and prefer to be near streams and rivers.  Cedar Waxwings also live in suburban areas such as city parks, old fields, grasslands, and sage brush areas.

Diet: Cedar Waxwings eat mostly berries, and sometimes maple sap. In summer they als0 eat insects that they often catch while flying. Cedar Waxwings eat a variety of insects including mayflies, dragonflies, and stone flies. Fledglings eat mainly insects. Cedar Waxwings also eat service berry, strawberry, mulberry, dogwood, and raspberries in the summer. During winter they eat mistletoe, madrone, juniper, mountain ash, honeysuckle, crab apple, and hawthorn.

Nesting: Cedar Waxwings nest from June to September. The nest is built mostly by the female. She weaves materials including twigs, grasses, cattail down, strings, and horse hair into a bulky cup about 5 inches across and 3 inches high. The nest is lined with pine needles, rootlets, and fine grasses, and construction takes 5 to 6 days. Cedar Waxwings lay 2 to 6 white eggs with black spots. The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 16 days.

Description/field marks: Cedar Waxwings are beautiful birds, and have distinctive markings. Cedar Waxwings have black lines going across the face, starting at the bill, going up across their eyes, and ending in a point right behind the eye. The Cedar Waxwing has a crest and is grayish brown on the wings, back, and head. On the under side it is brownish yellow, and there is a bit of white. On the tips of the wings there are small red waxy tips, but from a distance they are not always visible. The end of the tail is yellow.

How to attract: To attract Cedar Waxwings, plant trees with the berries that these waxwings eat or put out fruit. There are many berry producing trees and shrubs that would look good in your garden such as dogwood. Cedar Waxwings are not shy, and will most likely be eating berries off your trees or shrubs soon.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

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