The cedar waxwing is a medium sized songbird found through out almost all of North America except the the northern most parts. These little birds have a little crest, black crest and have a brown head and chest along with a yellow belly with their tail being black with a yellow or orange tail tip. A very social species they can be often seen in flocks eating berries and small fruit.
The waxwing got its name from the red wax like secretions found on the secondary feathers on most individuals. Fledglings and young birds lack these wax tips and it is noted that older birds have a larger number of these tips, it is believed they are used in mate selection.
Another interesting thing of note is that prior to the 1960’s and the introduction of the honeysuckle the trailing edge of the tail feathers were always yellow, but as the shrub expanded and became more prevalent in the region the tail feathers and commonly becoming orange. This is due to the pigments from the shrubs berries being added to the tail feathers.
They can be attracted to backyards by planting native plants that produce small fruits and berries.
Common Name: Cedar Waxwing
Scientific Name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Measurments: Length- 14 to 17 cm. Wingspan- 22 cm to 30 cm. Weight- about 32 g
Distrobution: found throughout most of North America except the northern most points
Habitat: Woodlands, orchards and suburban gardens.
Diet: Exclusivly berries and small fruit.