Cedar Waxwing
(Bombycilla cedrorum)


Picture of bird
© John Reaume
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Cedar Waxwing is a familiar bird that nests in open woodlands and shrubby old fields across all Canadian provinces, as well as the southern edge of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Results from the Breeding Bird Survey indicate an overall moderate increase in abundance since about 1970. Cedar Waxwings have benefited from human activities through increased fruit availability (Witmer et al. 2014).


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaModerate IncreaseHighAt an Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late May and late June and ends between mid-August and early September, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

The Cedar Waxwing is a nomadic frugivorous bird. As such, the species may benefit from an increase in fruiting trees and shrubs due to increased planting in suburban and agricultural areas, and succession of agricultural lands to forests (Witmer et al. 2014). However, because of its diet heavily reliant on fruit and insects, the species is thought to be particularly vulnerable to pesticides, which may be heavily applied to orchards. Collisions with vehicles and windows may also be elevated due to the location of fruiting trees and shrubs near houses and along roadways (Witmer et al. 2014).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type