Birder’s Notebook; Cedar Waxwing (CEDW)

Birder’s Notebook by Bob Andrini: A common bird is the cedar waxwing. Often, we see them ‘hawking’ over the river picking bugs out of the air. The scientific name of the cedar waxwing is Bombycilla cedrorum: Bombycilla comes from the Latin meaning ‘silk-tail’, and cedrorum is also from the Latin meaning cedar.

Field marks of the cedar waxwings are the black triangluar ‘mask’ around the eye, yellowish belly, a crest and yellow band at the tip of the tail – they also show ‘red drops’ on their wings.

Their main food source are berries, and when they find a food source, MANY waxwings will arrive and feast on the berries. They have also been seen feeding each other (often during courtship). If there are enough berries in the area, they will spend the winter. The tip of their tail may not be yellow, but also orangish – probably due to their food.

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