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Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum


Cedar Waxwing spotted eating(?) some of the persimmons, which I originally thought to be plums :) spotted in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK. These birds are quite common in the refuge during the autumn/winter months, and are often seen in large numbers in trees. On this particular day, in this persimmon tree, there were approximately 15 of the birds roosting/feeding together.


Preferred habitat consists of trees at the edge of wooded areas, or "open" forests, especially those that provide access to berry sources as well as water, and they are frequently seen in fruiting trees. Cedar Waxwings are attracted to the sound of running water, and love to bathe in and drink from shallow creeks. Outside the breeding season, cedar waxwings often feed in large flocks numbering hundreds of birds. This species is nomadic and irruptive, with erratic winter movements, though most of the population migrates farther south into the United States and beyond, sometimes reaching as far as northern South America. They will move in huge numbers if berry supplies are low. Rare vagrants have reached western Europe, and there are two recorded occurrences of cedar waxwing sightings in Great Britain.


The Cedar Waxwing eats berries and sugary fruit year-round, including: dogwood, serviceberry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winterberry (and persimmons, as depicted!); along with insects becoming an important part of the diet in the breeding season. Its fondness for the small cones of the eastern red cedar gave this bird its common name. When the end of a twig holds a supply of berries that only one bird at a time can reach, members of a flock may line up along the twig and pass berries beak to beak down the line so that each bird gets a chance to eat. Sometimes, cedar waxwings will eat fruit that is overripe and has begun to ferment, intoxicating the bird.

No species ID suggestions


SargonR 5 hours ago

Thank you all for the comments, the nomination, and of course for the lesson on persimmons!

AshleyT 9 hours ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

maplemoth662 a day ago

A very beautiful bird....

Machi 2 days ago

Yumm! Definitely persimmons. Great shots

flowntheloop 2 days ago

SargonR, you could test our theory the hard way and take a bite of one of the fruits which has not fallen (and is difficult to pluck from the branch). ;) American persimmons which are unripe (and have not fallen yet) are very astringent and will make your mouth pucker up! They are delicious when ripe, however!

Christine Y.
Christine Y. 2 days ago

I'm not a plant expert, but I agree with flowntheloop. I found this link with persimmons that look like the ones in your photos. Also, it says on the page that cedar waxwings eat persimmons... http://wordpress.arkansasmasternaturalis...

flowntheloop 2 days ago

American persimmons can have 1-8 large seeds and have a large crown-like calyx (which are present in your photos) where they attach to the branch. I'm pretty positive plums do not have the latter feature. Sorry to distract from your beautiful spotting!

flowntheloop 2 days ago

Are those persimmons or plums? They look like American Persimmons (Diospyros virginiana). Beautiful spotting either way! :D

SargonR 2 days ago

Pleasure to share. I had never seen these birds prior to moving to Oklahoma, so they are a new site to me!

triggsturner 2 days ago

Always a pleasure to see these guys. Thank for sharing your great images.

Oklahoma, USA

Lat: 34.72, Long: -98.71

Spotted on Nov 15, 2017
Submitted on Nov 15, 2017

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