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A cedar waxwing sits on the branch of a dead tree overlooking the Oldman River in Indian Battle Park, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Canon EOS 50D
Focal length: 300 mm
Exposure: 1/400 at f/8
The Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) is named both for it’s fondness of the berries of the Eastern red cedar, and for the red, waxlike tips on the secondary flight-feathers of adult birds. This bird is one of only three birds in the waxwing family and breeds in open wooded areas of southern Canada and the northern United States. During the winter months they tend to gather in large flocks of as many as 40 individuals.
Smaller than a Robin the Cedar Waxwing is a sleek, crested, brown bird with black mask, yellow tips on tail feathers, and red tips on secondary wing feathers. The belly is pale yellow, the undertail coverts are white. The plumage of the Cedar Waxwing appears as though made of soft velvet. These waxwings are from 6-1/2 to 8 inches long. The female is similar to the male. Young are streaked below.
Cedar Waxwings have a highly specialized diet, feeding primarily on fruits and berries, including juniper berries and ivy berries, with insects becoming an important part of the diet in the breeding season.