(Bombycilla cedrorum). Patient Number 20-1792.
Date of admission: September 12th, 2020.
Reason for admission: Caught by cat.
Did you know that the Cedar Waxwing is one of very few birds in North America that can survive for several months only eating fruit? Because they eat so much fruit, they occasionally become intoxicated when they ingest overripe berries that have started to ferment and produce alcohol.
Typically only a summer resident in Alberta, these birds winter in the southern half of the United States. They are smaller and browner than their close relative, the ‘Bohemian Waxwing,’ which typically spend winters in the province. Cedar Waxwings prefer wooded areas, especially those with berry and water sources close by. They are attracted by the sound of running water, and love to bathe and drink in shallow creeks.
Often seen in large flocks, Cedar Waxwings are social birds and are non-territorial. The name, “waxwing” comes from the waxy red secretions found on the secondary feather tips of some birds. After being caught by a cat, this Cedar Waxwing was rescued and brought to AIWC for care. She suffered a left coracoid fracture (a paired bone, part of the shoulder assembly) and required rest for several weeks to recover.
Once she had recovered from her injuries, her species had already migrated from Alberta and so she will overwinter at AIWC along with several other Waxwings. Once the species returns, she will be released back to the wild in Spring 2021. Thank you for helping us to keep her forever wild!