BIRDS OF NEW ENGLAND AND EASTERN NEW YORK - HOFFMANN

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WAXWINGS, ETC.: FAMILY AMPELIDÆ [BOMBYCILLIDÆ]

CEDAR WAXWING; CEDAR-BIRD. Ampelis [Bombycilla] cedrorum
7.19 in.

Ad ♂.– Head and throat rich snuff-color, fading into grayish-brown on the back and breast; under parts yellowish; wings and tail ash-gray; tail tipped with yellow; shorter wing-feathers often tipped with red; line from bill through eye black; long crest feathers often conspicuously elevated.

Nest, of grass, stalks of weeds, etc., on the limb of a tree, from ten to thirty feet up. Eggs, gray or bluish, spotted with black or dark brown.

A few Cedar-birds are occasionally seen in southern New England and the lower Hudson Valley in early winter, and in mid-winter great flocks appear, especially near the coast, and feed on the berries of the red cedar. In April these birds often disappear, and the breeding birds do not arrive till May. These come in small flocks, and do not pair till June, and often do not build till July. They now frequent almost every kind of country where both trees and open spaces occur, nesting in orchards, neglected pastures, and open spaces in woodland throughout New England and New York. In the upland region of middle New England they are among the most abundant birds. In late summer they gather about water, and spend much time flying out or up after insects. They are very fond of small fruits, and in September gather in flocks, often with Robins, in the rumcherry trees. By November they have almost all disappeared. The young in early fall have none of the rich brown of the parents, being of a much grayer shade, with streaked breasts. Cedar-birds often fly in compact flocks, which wheel on set wings before alighting. Their only note throughout the year is a wheezy lisp.


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