Cedar waxwing Facts

Cedar waxwing Facts
Cedar waxwing is a type of songbird that belongs to the waxwing family. It can be found in North, Central and South America. Cedar waxwing inhabits deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, areas near the streams, grasslands and open fields. It also visits towns and suburban areas where people cultivate ornamental bushes that produce delicious berries (source of food). Major threats for the survival of cedar waxwings are collisions with windows and road accidents. Despite these factors, number of cedar waxwings is large and stable in the wild.
Interesting Cedar waxwing Facts:
Cedar waxwing can reach 5.5 to 6.7 inches in length and 1.1 ounces of weight.
Dorsal side of the body is covered with brown or grey-brown plumage. Bottom parts of the body are yellow. Cedar waxwing has black mask on the face and crest on top of the head. Tail ends with yellow or orange band. Chin and throat of male birds are black.
Name "waxwing" refers to red, wax-like drops on the tips of the wings. Red markings are result of diet based on berries rich in red pigments.
Cedar waxwing has large head, sleek body, short, wide bill, broad, pointed wings and short tail.
Cedar waxwing has wingspan of 8.7 to 11.8 inches. It can fly at the speed of 25 miles per hour.
Cedar waxwing eats mostly fruit such as elderberries, serviceberries, winterberries, mulberries, wild cherries and cedar cones. It supplements its diet with insects during the summer.
Large quantities of over-ripe fruit that contain alcohol (sugar from the fruit converts into the alcohol in the process called fermentation) can be fatal for cedar waxwing.
Cedar waxwing is social bird. It lives and nests in large flocks made of few hundred birds. Group of cedar waxwings is known as "ear-full" or "museum".
Cedar waxwings produce high-pitched trills and wheezy, thin whistles for communication.
Mating season lasts from the spring to the late summer. Males and females hop, gently touch each other bills and exchange food items during the courtship. Cedar waxwings produce one or two broods per season.
Female builds bulky, cup-shaped nest made of twigs, roots, grasses, pine needles and horsehair. It takes 5 to 6 days for the construction of the nest. Female occasionally steals building material from the nests of nearby birds.
Nest is usually located 3 to 50 feet above the ground, tucked in the forked branches or vine tangles.
Female lays 2 to 6 eggs that hatch after 11 to 13 days. Only female takes part in the incubation of eggs. Male provides food for the female during this period.
Chicks are naked, blind and helpless at birth. Both parents collect insects and fruit for their chicks. Young birds are ready to leave the nest (for the first time) 14 to 18 days after hatching.
Cedar waxwing can survive around 8 years in the wild.

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