Step into the world of the waxwings, to learn about how they eat, breed, sound, and more!

December 4, 2022

Listen to the Episode



This is Episode 65, and it’s all about waxwings—birds in the family Bombycillidae.

The Cedar Waxwing is one species, and there are two others that we’ll talk about.

These beautiful, elegant songbirds are loved by people across the Northern Hemisphere.

Waxwings are easy on the eyes, for sure, and that’s great. I mean, personally, I think they’re just about the most gorgeous songbirds we have in North America.

But their biology is also really interesting. So much of how waxwings live and behave is dictated by what they eat… By their specialized diet.

What is that special diet? Is it maybe something like scorpions, psychedelic mushrooms, or the blood of their enemies?

Listen and find out!

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Links of Interest

Research Citations


Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum). Photo by Brett/Adobe.
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum). Photo by skyler-ewing/Pexels.
Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulous). Photo by Mikhail Vedernikov/Adobe.
Japanese Waxwing (Bombycilla japonica). Photo by Ravenala/Adobe.


  • Cedar Waxwing sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC598824)
  • Cedar Waxwing sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC142622)
  • Cedar Waxwing sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC107623)
  • Bohemian Waxwing sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC704128)
  • Japanese Waxwing sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC723873)

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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