Cedar Waxwing - Eating Like A Bird

December 31, 2020  •  Leave a Comment


Eating Like A Bird, in style. The stylish Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful bird with its Zorro-like mask. A lot of people love Waxwings. I count myself in that group. Cedar Waxwings love fruit. They’re primarily frugivores -- they feed mainly on fruits year-round, like this one I photographed feeding on wild berries. Cedar Waxwings eat insects as well, but because they’re such fruit lovers, these birds time their nesting period to coincide with summer berry production. What this means is that Cedar Waxwings are among the latest of North American birds to nest. Cedar waxwings are sociable and seen in flocks year-round. The name "waxwing" comes from the waxy red secretions found on the tips of their wings. The function of these tips isn’t exactly known, but they may help attract mates.


Because they eat so much fruit, Cedar Waxwings occasionally become intoxicated or even die when they run across overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol. There are a few wildlife rehabilitators that have admitted “drunk” Cedar Waxwings. If all else is fine with these birds, they’re usually fed insects and non-alcoholic berries until they dry out. Because Cedar Waxwings are flock birds, a critical issue when releasing them is finding locations where they can locate or meet up with an existing flock.  This is believed important for their survival. Some rehabbers have used bird-watching and recording groups like “eBird” or “Inaturalist” to identify areas where flocks or groups of cedar waxwings have been reported and where healed (or sober!) Cedar Waxwings can be released.


Read more about this blog here: https://www.copperrangellc.com/blog/2020/12/eating-like-a-bird.


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