Country Birder... and Butterflies 

Cedar Waxwing
Previous View Butterflies Return to Home Next

Cedar Waxwings are frugivores, meaning they feed primarily on fruit.  According to online resources, Cedar Waxwings will also feed on insects, but appear to time their nesting and breeding with the availability of fruit sources.  May 14 was the first time I observed a Cedar Waxwing in the yard, and it was eating the white flower blooms of a Washington Hawthorn tree.  The bird in this picture is sitting on the branch of a Black Gum tree.
Central Indiana - June 11, 2008
Cedar Waxwing, sitting among branches of Serviceberry tree.  The berries are just beginning to ripen, and I counted two Cedar Waxwings picking off the red berries.  Per online field guides, Cedar Waxwings tend to move around in their range, often in flocks, sometimes settling only long enough to strip ripe fruits from their sources before moving on.
Central Indiana - June 11, 2008
Having a Cedar Waxwing stop to dine at our yard is a high point for me this season.  Three years ago, the property (literally in the middle of a corn field) had no fruit-bearing trees or shrubs for wildlife.  Every tree and shrub I planted has been with the intent of providing some wildlife value, and of course with the selfish intent of attracting songbirds to the yard. 

I planted three Serviceberry shrubs, twenty Silky Dogwood, and about ten "Blue Muffin" Arrowwood Viburnum.  This is the first year that the Serviceberries have produced fruit, and the Dogwood and Viburnum show great promise for later in the season. 
Central Indiana - June 11, 2008
Cedar Waxwings enjoying the fruits of the Serviceberry tree. 
Central Indiana - June 13, 2008  
I finally captured a picture showing the detail of the red waxy pigment, for which the Waxwing gets its name, on the tips of the secondary feathers.  The tail tip on this bird appears orange, while we usually expect the tip to be yellow.  It could be a trick of the light (this photo was taken under less than ideal circumstances), but according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology online bird guide, consuming berries of an introduced species of Honeysuckle causes the tail to develop an orange tip if consumed during feather development.
Central Indiana - June 17, 2008

Click the link below for descriptive material provided by 

Cedar Waxwing Return to Home