I’m a little bit obsessed with cedar waxwings. I first saw them in a field guide, and immediately knew I had to see one. I had a few quick sightings in the woods but was never able to get a clear shot at one until I went up to Chehalis Lake. When we arrived, my sister mentioned there were some birds, and I freaked when I saw that it was these guys and they were so close to the camp it was unreal. There was also a bunch of them hanging out at the creek, going from rock to rock.
Latin Name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Size: 14-17cm (5.5-6.7 in)
Lifespan: Up to 8 years
Finding Cedar Waxwings
One thing I wish I had realized when I first decided to find this bird is they are a lot smaller than they look in the pictures! All About Birds measures them at 14-17cm (5.5-6.7 in) long, placing them between a sparrow and a robin on their size scale.
You’ll find cedar waxings in woodlands and farms, and at places with berries. I’ve also had the best success finding them near water sources. They range from the western to the eastern coast of North America. Depending on the season, they can be found in the southern half of Canada through to Mexico.
Cedar waxwings are typically found in flocks, with numbers surging in the fall and winter. It is very rare to see one on its own.