Cedar Waxwing

(Bombycilla cedrorum)

Conservation Status
Cedar Waxwing
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding, Unranked Nonbreeding

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Cedar Waxwing is a sleek, medium-sized bird. It is 6 to 7¼ long, weighs about 1.1 ounce., and has a wingspan of about 12. It is a year-round resident of Minnesota.

The body is grayish-brown with a yellowish wash on the breast and belly.

The wings are pointed, grayish-brown, and have a white inner edge. There are waxy, bright red "drops" at the tips of the secondary wing feathers. The wing tips—the tips of the primary feathers—are dark and do not have any bold markings.

The tail is gray, square, somewhat short, and tipped with a bright yellow band. The undertail coverts are white.

The neck is short, the head is large, and the bill is short and wide. The head and neck are cinnamon brown. The chin is black and there is a narrow black mask outlined in white. There is a crest that droops over the back of the head.

Males and females are mostly alike, but the male has a darker chin.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

6 to 7¼ in length

12 wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
 

A clear, high-pitched whistle, not ascending or descending in pitch, repeated one to four times; a high-pithed trilled whistle, repeated one to four times.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) is slightly larger, up to 8 long. The undertail coverts are chestnut, not white. The body is brownish-gray without a yellow wash. The inner edge of the wing is not white. The secondary wing feathers have white tips, which appears as a white patch above the red "drops". The wing tips have bold yellow and white markings. They are found in Minnesota only in the winter.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forest edges, open woodlands, riparian forests, urban parksForest edges, open woodlands, riparian forests, urban parks

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

The Breeding season is June through August, usually one brood in the spring and a second brood in the summer.

The female builds the first nest in about five days by weaving together twigs, grasses, moss, and lichens, then lining the interior with soft grasses. The finished nest is cup shaped, about 5 in diameter, and about 3 high. The female lays 2 to 6 (usually 4 or 5) eggs which hatch after 11 to 13 days. The hatchlings stay in the nest 14 to 18 days.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Mostly fruits; in the summer also eats flying insects.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common to abundant migrant and breeder

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Passeriformes (perching birds)  
 

Family

Bombycillidae (waxwings)  
 

Genus

Bombycilla (waxwings)  
       
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Coverts

Small feathers on the wings and tail of a bird that cover other feathers and help smooth airflow during flight.

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Ramona Abrego

 
    Cedar Waxwing   Cedar Waxwing  
           
    Cedar Waxwing   Cedar Waxwing  
 

Norm & Peg Dibble

 
 

Pretty Cedar Waxwings are regular visitors to the pond.

There are typically 4 of them at a time. This was taken from the house probably through the glass patio door.

They are the fastest bathers of all the birds it seems and it’s a real challenge to get a focused picture. If I’m outside, I usually hear them before I see them. They are quite vocal but only soft squeaky chirps.

  Cedar Waxwing  
 

Laurie Wachholz

 
    Cedar Waxwing      
 

Joy Blank

 
    Cedar Waxwing      
 

Bill Reynolds

 
 

Here is a Cedar Waxwing feeding on Splendid Crab apples.

 
    Cedar Waxwing      
 

Tom Baker

 
    Cedar Waxwing   Cedar Waxwing  
           
    Cedar Waxwing   Cedar Waxwing  
           
    Cedar Waxwing      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Cedar Waxwing
JMC Nature Photos
  Cedar Waxwing  
Cedar Waxwing
jt893x
  Cedar Waxwing  
Cedar Waxwing
Joshua Mayer
  Cedar Waxwing  
 
About

Bombycilla cedrorum

 
Cedar Waxwing
Craig A. Mullenbach
  Cedar Waxwing  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this bird.

 
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Other Videos
 
  Cedar Waxwing [HD]
JCVdude
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2010

The Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) is a member of the family Bombycillidae or waxwing family of passerine birds. It breeds in open wooded areas in North America, principally southern Canada and the northern United States.

Outside the Breeding season, Cedar Waxwings often feed in large flocks numbering hundreds of birds. This species is irruptive, with erratic winter movements, though most of the population migrates farther south into the United States and beyond, sometimes reaching as far as northern South America. They will move in huge numbers if berry supplies are low. Rare vagrants have reached western Europe, and there are two recorded occurrences of Cedar Waxwing sightings in Great Britain. Individual Bohemian Waxwings will occasionally join large winter flocks of Cedar Waxwings.

In winter, these birds can be very confident and will come into gardens for berry bushes and trees and to drink from fountains or bird baths.

Cedar waxwings fly at 25 miles per hour and fly at the altitude of 2000 ft. above ground

   
  Visitantes silvestres: Bombycilla cedrorum
Ticatla
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 6, 2007

Corto sobre las aves migratorias Bombycilla cedrorum conocidas como chinitos o ampelis americanos, que vienen a México desde Canadá y EUA.

   
  Maplewood Flats Cedar Waxwings
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 26, 2011

Cedar Waxwings have been observed to pass blossoms, berries and other food items to potential mates as a courtship ritual.

(Bombycilla cedrorum )

   
  Cedar Waxwing (Bombycillidae: Bombycilla cedrorum)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 6, 2009

Photographed at East Grand Forks, Minnesota (06 July 2009)

   
  Cedar Waxwing-Bombycilla cedrorum
Stoil Ivanov
 
   
 
About

Published on May 25, 2013

Cedar Waxwing ( Bombycilla cedrorum ) eating petals. Video taken on 5-25-2013 Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

"The Magic Hedge"

   
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this bird.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Ramona Abrego

Location: Washington County

Cedar Waxwing  
  Norm & Peg Dibble
7/16/2019

Location: Maple Grove, MN

Pretty Cedar Waxwings are regular visitors to the pond. There are typically 4 of them at a time. This was taken from the house probably through the glass patio door.

They are the fastest bathers of all the birds it seems and it’s a real challenge to get a focused picture. If I’m outside, I usually hear them before I see them. They are quite vocal but only soft squeaky chirps.

Cedar Waxwing  
  Delfun-Peterson
8/9/2018 to present
8/12/2018

Location: Marine on Saint Croix

lived here 30 years, first sighting.

 

 
  Joy Blank
12/9/2017

Location: St. Cloud, MN

Cedar Waxwing  
  Cris Risberg
9/5/2017

saw them eating insects from a boxelder tree in my back yard. At least 6 -10 of them

 
  R Klossner
6/16/2017

Location: Cottage Grove

Drank from 3 different fountains in backyard.

   
  Tom Baker
2/18/2012

Location: Edenbrook Conservation Area

Cedar Waxwing  
  Bill Reynolds
2/5/2007

Location: Pennington Co.

Here is a Cedar Waxwing feeding on Splendid Crab apples.

Cedar Waxwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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Created 7/24/2012

Last Updated:

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