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Cedar Waxwings Basic Facts

Photos and article by Kathryn Mann

This is a Cedar Waxwing on the branch of a cedar tree in January

There is a small grove of Eastern Red Cedars on the trail I walk on several times a week in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. In late January there are usually several dozen Cedar Waxwings feasting on their small cones. Within a week all the Cedar Waxwings are gone and do not reappear in my area until late May when they begin to dine on several Mulberry trees (including a large one in my front yard). Cedar Waxwings love the mulberry fruit which looks like a blackberry, but tastes more like a grapefruit.

Cedar Waxwing perfect

As you can see from these photos the Cedar Waxwing is brown on top and has a yellow breast. It has a beautiful small feathered crest on its head and a white-lined black mask over its face which makes me refer to these guys as "bandit" birds. Their wings are a dark gray and are decorated with several red tips and a yellow border at the bottom of its tail.  The under tail is white. They are about 7 inches in length. They are very social creatures and often sit and feed next to several other waxwings. I often see one picking a berry and then passing it down a row of birds so they all get about the same number of berries. They also often clean one another. In my area you will often see a few Baltimore Orioles mixed in with a couple dozen Cedar Waxwings in a Mulberry Tree.

Cedar Waxwing eating

I have been told you might be able to attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard by putting some raisins or finely sliced apples on a raised feeder.

Cedar Waxwing close-up

Finally you may recall the children's nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel with the lyrics:

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun.
Pop! goes the weasel.
A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle.
That's the way the money goes.
Pop! goes the weasel.
Up and down the City Road,
In and out of the Eagle,
That's the way the money goes.
Pop! goes the weasel.
Half a pound of tuppenney rice,
Half a pound of treacle,
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop! goes the weasel.

The fact is there is no mulberry bush; it is a tree, and while it is unlikely you will find a monkey or weasel in one, they are a favorite May hangout for Cedar Waxwings, my "bandit bird".



Jeff Kline      9:24 PM Fri 5/8/2015

Have been seeing several of these birds in my mulberry tree this year have never seen them before in the 20 years of living here so was baffled as to what they were. Went to many diff sites looking for info until I came across this site where without much effort at all I found exactly what I was looking for. I love watching these little guys flying in groups of about 10 to 15 swarm in and fest on the berrys for a bit then off they go and another group stops by. Hard to believe something with such a small beak can swallow whole such a big berry but they do over and over again. Thank you for making my bird hunt possible

Analisia Marie Hudson      4:24 PM Tue 11/18/2014

Funny poem I Iike it wish I could here it every day like the bird too. Wish it was here in Bunch.

Uplifting Visions
a guide to happiness, good health, and success
Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
by Charly Mann

From the age of seven I have been enchanted with the idea of living happily ever after, and have made it a life quest to find that answer. I have spoken to hundreds of people – usually older and wiser than me, and read countless books and articles on the subject. In my website Uplifting Visions I share what I consider the best insights I have learned about achieving happiness in life.

Oklahoma Birds Listed by Color

House Finch - male (carpodacus mexicanus)
Purple Finch - male (carpodacus purpureus)
Northern Cardinal - male (cardinalis cardinalis)
Painted Bunting - male (passerina ciris)
Summer Tanager - male (piranga rubra)

Baltimore Oriole - male (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - male (icterus spurius)

Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia )
Baltimore Oriole - female (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - female (icterus spurius)
Summer Tanager - female (piranga rubra)
Yellow Goldfinch - male (carduelis tristis)
Western Kingbird (tyrannus verticalis)
Eastern Meadowlark (sturnella magna)

Malard - male (anas platyrhynchos)
Dark-eyed Junco - female (junco hyemalis)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris)
Painted Bunting - female (passerina ciris)
Green Heron (butorides virescens)

Barn Swallow (hirundo rustica)
Belted Kingfisher (ceryle alcyon)
Blue Jay (cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Grosbeak - male (guiraca caerulea)
Eastern Bluebird (sailia sialis)
Indigo Bunting - male (passerina cyanea)
Purple Martin - male (progne subis)

Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias)
Carolina Chickadee (poecile carolinensis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (sitta canadensis)
Grey Catbird (dumetella carolinensis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (regulus calendula)
Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (tyrannus forficatus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (sitta carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (baelophus bicolor)
American Robin (turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (mimus polyglottos)
Mississippi Kite (ictinia mississippiensis)
Dickcissel (spiza americana)

American Crow (corvus brachyrhynchos)
Brown-headed Cowbird - male (molothrus ater)
European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)
Common Grackle (quiscalus quiscula)
Red-winged Blackbird - male (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Towhee (pipilo maculatus)
Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura)

Black & White
American Bald Eagle (haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Black-billed Magpie (pica hudsonia)
Downey Woodpecker (picoides pubescens)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (melanerpes carolinus)
Purple Martin - female (progne subis)
Eastern Kingbird (tyrannus tyrannus)
Dark-eyed Junco - male (junco hyemalis)
Loggerhead Shrike (lanius ludovicianus)

American Kestrel (falco sparverius)
Blue Grosbeak - female (guiraca caerulea)
Brown-headed Cowbird - female (molothrus ater)
Brown Thrasher (toxostoma rufum)
Common Nighthawk (chordeiles minor)
Carolina Wren (thryothorus ludovicianus)
Cedar Waxwing (bombycilla cedrorum)
Greater Roadrunner (geococcyx californianus)
Killdeer (charadrius vociferus)
Northern Bobwhite (colinus virginianus)
Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis)
Cliff Swallow (petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Horned Lark (eremophila alpestris)
House Finch - female (carpodacus mexicanus)
Northern Flicker (colaptes auratus)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (coccyzus americanus)
Mourning Dove (zenaida macroura)
Malard - female (anas platyrhynchos)
Purple Finch - female (carpodacus purpureus)
House Sparrow (passer domesticus)
Indigo Bunting - female (passerina cyanea)
Red-winged Blackbird - female (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Sandpiper (actitis macularia)
Upland Sandpiper (bartramia longicauda)
Northern Cardinal - female (cardinalis cardinalis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Yellow Goldfinch - female (carduelis tristis)
Canada Goose (branta canadensis)

Wild Birds of Northeast OK

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