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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Cedar Waxwing -- Bombycilla cedrorum

RANGE: Breeds from southeastern Alaska, central British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, northern Manitoba, Ontario, central Quebec, and Newfoundland south to northern California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, central Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, northern Georgia, western North Carolina, and Virginia. Winters from southern British Columbia, Montana, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New York, and New England south to Central America.

STATUS: Locally common to rare.

HABITAT: Inhabits a wide variety of open coniferous and deciduous forests, forest edges, farmsteads, parks, and residential areas, but absent from dense forests. During winter, found almost anywhere that trees and shrubs with persistent fruits are present.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Fruit- and berry-producing trees and shrubs.

NEST: Builds its nest semicolonially in dense coniferous thickets (often cedar) but will use a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs. Places nest on a horizontal limb, often in a crotch next to the main trunk, 4 to 50 feet above the ground.

FOOD: Gleans insects from leaf surfaces or hawks from perches. In summer, consumes a diet of about 20 percent insects. In fall and winter, eats nearly all fruits and berries.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Eckert in Farrand 1983c, Forbush and May 1955, Lea 1942, Putnam 1949, Terres 1980.

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