Plate I: Cedar-bird (Cedar Waxwing)

Ampelis cedrorum

Nests & Eggs: Cedar Waxwing

A gregarious, nomadic denizen of wooded areas in North America.

Waxwings are the nomads of the bird world; like gypsies, they come and go. Apparently they drift southward in the fall and northward in the spring, but have no regular migration. They range from Southern Canada to Central America but might leave when it frosts or stay thru the winter. Unlike some “Knights of the Road,” they present a neat appearance. In fact the soft, brownish-gray plumage, fading into lighter under parts, the slate-colored tail with the yellow tip, the jaunty crest, the black eye mask, the reddish spot on the wing, the sleek, streamlined stance—all mark him as an aristocrat.

Waxwings like companions and travel in flocks. Where you find one, you might find a dozen or more than one hundred. Whether feeding or resting, you will hear them conversing in a high-pitched, wheezy note which is difficult to describe. Some refer to it as a hiss, others as a whine.

When an ample supply of food is available, Cedar Waxwings gorge themselves until they seem rather listless. Various fruits and berries are relished, but insects and cankerworms are taken in season.

The Bohemian Waxwing is slightly larger, grayer and shows more white on the wing and brown under-tail coverts.

Introduction to Our Bird Friends, Vol II.
  • Print out the notebooking pages provided below.
  • Read the Cedar Waxwing story in Bird Biographies out loud.
  • Have younger students orally narrate what was read. They can then copy a few lines of narration onto the notebooking pages.
  • Older students can read the text and provide a written narration.
  • Sketch the bird. This encourages attention to detail, which will aid in identifying the bird later on. Another option is to use the printables provided below.
  • Sketch the nest of the bird, along with the eggs. Note where the nest is usually found.
  • Older students can include the taxonomy.
  • Learn more about the Cedar Waxwing at Cornell.
  • On one notebooking page note the facts:
    • Description.
    • Habitat.
    • Range.
    • Food.
    • Nest.
    • Eggs.
    • Call.
  • The Cedar Waxwing is covered in The Burgess Bird Book: CHAPTER XXXVI. A Stranger and a Dandy.
Additional Resources

30 Narration Ideas
At some point you might appreciate some variety.

The Bird Study sections of our free nature study series: Our Wonderful World:

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Printables & Notebooking Pages

Cedar Waxwing Notebooking Pages
Free simple notebooking set.

Dandy the Cedar Waxwing
Corresponding print from The Burgess Bird Book.

Cedar Waxwing
Bird picture for notebook.

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book
Dover Nature Coloring Book based on Fifty Birds of Town and City by Bob Hines. Includes the cedar waxwing.

Cedar Waxwing Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style that is especially nice for noting the facts and range.

Enjoy the entire series:

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