Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum

Cedar Waxwings belong to the family Bombyicillidae, of which there are only three different species. Waxwings have secondary flight-feathers that are tipped in a red waxy substance. For the most part they eat small fruit, and occasionally supplement their diet with insects. I saw some this summer moving along a row of fruiting trees in the arboretum that lines the North Shore Channel in Evanston, IL. I think the one that I prepared as a study skin had been at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Anytime I see a photo of a waxwing, I marvel at the almost airbrushed quality of the subtle color transitions within their plumage. It was good to be able to see that up close. I just finished this painting today, and hope that within the next week or so I may be able to offer it as limited edition print in my Etsy shop.



  1. This is breathtaking & I definitely want a print! :)
    Happy New Year Diana, I really look forward to enjoying your wonderful art in 2008. Your blog was such a treat for me in 2007. Hugs!

  2. Diana: In late November I was taking our dog for a walk when I saw a group of Cedar Waxwings foraging for berries in some shrubbery near Roanoak Park. I started keep an eye out for Cedar Waxwings in late fall a few years ago, after first observing them around that time. When we got back from the walk, I checked to see if I had taken any decent pictures of the birds last year. I did take some, but they weren't that great. What struck me most, however, was that the pictures I took in 2006 were on November 26. The date in 2007 when I noticed the birds was November 30. Very close to being precisely one year since the last time I saw them. I have been noticing in a number of different ways how precisely regular bird behavior actually is. I mean, how closely timed their movements seem to be in an annual cycle. This is not to say, of course, there isn't any variation, but the consistency of conduct patterns does seem uncanny.


    PS: Thanks for this wonderful picture. I your showing the birds eating red berries -- that is what I usually see them doing. :-)


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