Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum




Waxwings (Bombycillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue gray with black and brown spots

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 16

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

6 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Sticks, mosses, and grass.





Cedar Waxwing: Small waxwing with red-brown upperparts, pale slate-gray rump, and buff underparts. Head is crested and has black mask. Tail is yellow-tipped with white undertail coverts. Wings have red bead-like tips on secondaries. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has smaller crest and gray-brown streaks on underparts.

Range and Habitat

Cedar Waxwing: Common throughout North America. Breeds from southeastern Alaska east to Newfoundland and south to California, northern Alabama, and North Carolina. Spends winters from British Columbia, the Great Lakes region, and New England southward. Preferred habitats include open woodlands, orchards, and residential areas.

Breeding and Nesting

Cedar Waxwing: Two to six pale blue gray eggs spotted with brown and black are laid in a bulky cup nest of twigs and grass built in a tree. Incubation ranges from 12 to 16 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Cedar Waxwing: Diet consists mostly of insects such as carpenter ants, cicadas, caterpillars, scale insects, and cankerworms; also feeds on berries, fruits, maple sap, and flowers. Sometimes becomes intoxicated from eating fermented berries in winter.


Cedar Waxwing: Call is a thin, high-pitched warbled "zeee" or "zeeet."

Similar Species

Cedar Waxwing: Bohemian Waxwing is larger with dark undertail coverts, gray belly, and red, white, and yellow wing markings.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X