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Cedar Waxwings Feasting on Fruit


Cedar Waxwings are strictly fruit eaters in the winter, expanding their diet to include insects during the warmer parts of the year. As their name implies, one often finds these birds in areas where there are a lot of cedars, as they’ve historically fed on cedar berries in winter. However, they increasingly rely on the fruit of mountain ash as well as apple, crabapple and hawthorn in the Northeast. Waxwings run the risk of intoxication and even death after eating fermented fruit such as the apples pictured. In recent years Cedar Waxwings have started feeding on the fruits of invasive honeysuckles, a habit which ornithologists feel might be responsible for a shift in waxwing distribution as well as regional population increases.

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5 responses

  1. Great blog, Mary. Waxwings are one of my favorite birds. I have recently read that some waxwings are developing orange-tipped tails (as opposed to the typical yellow tip) due to a diet high in honeysuckle fruit. You are what you eat!

    January 31, 2017 at 7:12 am

    • Yes, I almost wrote about that as I managed to photograph an orange-tipped tail, but decided on apples instead!

      January 31, 2017 at 8:31 am

  2. Diane

    I never see these birds, unfortunately.

    January 31, 2017 at 9:55 am

  3. Cheron barton

    Bet you have seen these!!! ❤❤💕💕

    Sent from my iPhone


    January 31, 2017 at 10:52 am

  4. Ben Steele

    Cedar waxwings eating honeysuckle might also be responsible for spreading that invasive species. Many of those plants are expanding quickly.

    January 31, 2017 at 6:27 pm

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