Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Cedar Waxwings November 3, 2011

For a few days in October each year, we get a kick out of watching a flock of Cedar Waxwings clean all the berries off our dogwood shrubs. Although they are in the upper Midwest all summer, I mostly see them in my yard during spring and fall migration.

For 2 years now, we have seen the juvenile Cedar Waxwings. Their identity is easily mistaken since they don’t have the same air-brushed look of the adults. The juveniles are gray with a streaked chest. They don’t get their signature red wing tips and polished look until the second year.

juvenile cedar waxwing | paula bonelli |

juvenile cedar waxwing

I usually hear them; that’s how I know they’re in the yard. They make a number of sounds, but this time of year they make a high-pitched squeaky call that sounds like ‘zeeee, zeeet or sreee’.

Late nesting allows them to take advantage of all the late summer and early fall fruit and berries. They are susceptible to intoxication or death from eating fermented berries. So if you see some drunk birds in your yard, maybe there are some fermenting berries around! LOL

You can watch an adult Cedar Waxwing eating berries and a juvenile perched in a tree at Cornell’s site.


3 Responses to “Cedar Waxwings”

  1. I don’t think I have seen one of these, although they rank as an almost “mythical” bird. Loved the link to Cornell; I always think of bird songs as their forte but didn’t realize they had video now. Thanks, Paula!

    • Paula B Says:

      Ah – Cornell is my go-to site for all things birds! They are the most reliable source I have. I love bird-watching and birding with my hubby. Hope all is well with you!

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