An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Cedar Waxwings Seeking Fruit

2-12-16 cedar waxwing  027Cedar Waxwings can be found year round in northern New England, but the waxwings we see this winter are not necessarily the same birds that were nesting here last summer. May through September Cedar Waxwings can be found nesting throughout New England. Come fall, most Cedar Waxwings migrate an average of 880 miles in a southerly direction. Thus, many of the waxwings we see in winter are probably Canadian breeders.

Once on their wintering grounds, Cedar Waxwings tend to wander in flocks in search of sugary fruits to eat. In recent years, they have relied increasingly on crops of ornamental fruit trees such as crabapple, hawthorn and mountain ash. In the summer, you see Cedar Waxwings regularly if they are nesting in your area, whereas if you see them one winter day, you may very well not see them the following day, unless there is an ample supply of fruit nearby. Once they discover a food source, be it fruit on a single tree or an orchard full of fruit, these nomads usually descend, strip and eat the fruit until the branches are bare and then depart for greener (or redder) pastures.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

9 responses

  1. Tara Johnson

    Great post, amazing pic!!!

    February 11, 2016 at 7:36 am

  2. Rebecca Weil

    Great photo!!

    Sent from my iPhone


    February 11, 2016 at 8:12 am

  3. k

    These are such beautiful birds. I love seeing them!

    February 11, 2016 at 9:46 am

  4. Jonbravo

    I understand and have observed cedar waswings that appear to be drunk from eating fermented fruit.

    February 11, 2016 at 10:41 am

  5. What a beautiful picture!

    February 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm

  6. Fifi Ball

    Particularly stunning photograph–thank you!

    February 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  7. I love the soft look of cedar waxwings and their zee-zee calls keep me company in summer when I sit by the river, but by Jove, they can lay waste a winter ornamental tree in no time! My winterberry never make it to Christmas!

    February 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm

  8. Hi Mary, nice shot of the female tossing it before sending it down the hatch!
    I have a similar shot of the male waxwing holding a chokecherry in his beak.
    Also, up here in the highlands of Corinth I have seen very recently a small flock of 12 land atop my 70 foot spruce below my porch several times now, late in the afternoon…
    Bill. WGF Studio53

    February 13, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s