Cedar WaxwingBombycilla cedrorum
ORDER: Passeriformes
FAMILY: Bombycillidae

Cedar waxwings are medium-sized birds approximately 6–7 in (15–18 cm) long and weighing roughly 30 g (1.1 oz). Wingspan ranges from 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm).Their markings are a "silky, shiny collection of brown, gray, and lemon-yellow, accented with a subdued crest, rakish black mask, and brilliant-red wax droplets on the wing feathers. The name "waxwing" comes from the waxy red secretions found on the tips of the secondaries of some birds. The exact function of these tips is not known, but they may help attract mates. These droplets may be the same color as the madrone berries they are known to eat.These birds' most prominent feature is this small cluster of red wax-like droplets on tips of secondary flight feathers on the wings.Adults have a pale yellow belly. The waxwing's crest often "lies flat and droops over the back of the head. It has a short and wide bill. The waxwing's black mask has a thin white border. Immature birds are streaked on the throat and flanks, and often do not have the black mask of the adults. Males and females look alike. The flight of waxwings is strong and direct, and the movement of the flock in flight resembles that of a flock of small pale European starlings. Cedar waxwings fly at 40 km/h (25 mph) and fly at an altitude of 610 m (2,000 ft). 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.


» Cedar Fever, achoo...!

» Some of our Hill Country critters.

» The Wimberley Guides

» Everything for your Hill Country Home

» Contribute your article to VisitWimberley.com


Photograph ©2009 VisitWimberley.com

Last Updated 02.03.2021