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Waxwings Supplementing Sugary Fruit Diet With High-Protein Insects

4-3-15 bohemian waxwing IMG_2383The diet of both Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings is primarily sugary fruits throughout most of year. Research shows that they can subsist on this diet exclusively for as many as 18 days. However, in winter when feeding on fruits, they also feed on buds and available insects. In warmer months, waxwings will fly out over water from exposed perches, much like flycatchers, and snatch emerging aquatic insects such as mosquitoes, midges, mayflies, caddisflies and dragonflies out of the air. They also glean for vegetation-borne insect prey, such as scale insects. At this time of year they are taking advantage of winter stonefly hatches over open streams. (photos: bohemian waxwing & stonefly)

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3 responses

  1. Kathie Fiveash

    Does this mean (the 18 days part) that they must eat at least some insects in order to fulfill all their nutritional needs? Beautiful photos!

    April 3, 2015 at 10:58 am

    • Hi Kathie,
      Yes, at least that’s how I interpreted the information…

      April 3, 2015 at 5:44 pm

  2. Beautiful photo – I love waxwings – their feathers look so smooth. Happy Spring/Easter, Mary!

    April 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

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