Open woodlands and near the edges of more open areas like fields and streams
North and Central America
Least Concern (IUCN Red List)
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Cedar waxwings have a distinct facial feature, a black mask like marking in the feathers around their eyes. Cedar waxwings also have tufted feathers on their heads. Their velvety tan and grey feathers include yellow tail tips. The bright red markings on the wings are a secreted waxy substance, possibly for courting other cedar waxwings. Cedar waxwings are medium-sized birds; they are seen in flocks; and they may be seen sharing food.
Since cedar waxwings love to eat fruit and it is the main part of their diet, they live in areas where there are trees and shrubs that have flowers, small fruits, and berries. Locally, in the Truckee Meadows, this includes trees like ornamental flowering trees that do not produce fruit for humans but still produce a small fruit that these birds love to eat in the fall months. Cedar waxwings also eat insects and will flock to areas where there is an abundance of food.
The black feather mask has captured the imaginations of children and has given rise to the affectionate “batman bird” nickname.
Female cedar waxwings can take up to 6 days to build their nests and have been known to make up to 2,500 trips to the nest to construct it.
Cedar waxwing birds have been known to become intoxicated when they eat too much fruit that is past the ripe stage.
Cedar waxwings have been seen all over the Truckee Meadows, especially in areas where there are trees and bushes that produce berries and small fruits. They can be found in the area year-round.
The Audubon Society, Guide to North American Birds, 2021, https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/cedar-waxwing
Cornell Lab, All About Birds, 2021, https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cedar_Waxwing
3 IUCN Redlist, Cedar Waxwing, last assessed 2016, current site 2021, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22708153/94151379
Image: Jason Quinn, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cedar_Waxwing_August_14_2012_Newfoundland_PA.jpg, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en, cropped from original.
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