cedar waxwing

How to Attract Cedar Waxwings to your Yard (Experts Tips)

Cedar waxwings are among the most sought-after backyard birds in North America. Their beautiful plumage and easy-going nature make them a joy to watch.

This article will teach you how to attract cedar waxwing to your feeder by using various techniques, making for an unforgettable experience with these charming birds. 


The Cedar Waxwing is a small songbird measuring 5.5–7.1 in (14–18 cm) in length, and weighing approximately 25-32 g (0.9-1.12 oz).with a wingspan that varies from 8.5-12 in (21.6-30.4 cm).

These birds can easily be identified by their large crest on top of their head, a brown-gray plumage, black mask, and chin, with a pale yellow belly, yellow rump, and a bright red teardrop on each of the wings. The tip of its tail has a thick brilliant yellow stripe that is distinctive.

Range and Habitat

The cedar waxwing is a migratory bird that has one of the widest ranges in North America. It is most commonly found in Eastern North America, but it can also be found throughout much of Central and Western Canada as well as parts of Alaska.

It inhabits many different types of habitats, including woodland edges, scrubland, parks, orchards, gardens as well as rural areas such as farmlands or vineyards.

What do Cedar Waxwings eat?

The cedar waxwing is an insectivore that feeds on fruits and berries during the summer months when food sources are plentiful and easy to find. The birds also eat invertebrates, such as spiders, ants, wasps, beetles, butterflies, and caterpillars. 

In the winter they primarily eat insects, sap from birch trees, coniferous cones, and seeds. They also consume tree bark in order to obtain necessary nutrients such as tannins. 

Cedar Waxwing eating berries
Image by IlyaYurukin from Pixabay

How to attract Cedar Waxwings to a feeder? 

Cedar Waxwings are attracted to feeders with a variety of colors and different food options like suet cakes, fruit slices, seed mixes, and more.

So if you want to attract cedar waxwings, the best thing you can do is provide a variety of food. They eat both fruit and insects, so try providing both!

1) You can offer them either orange (whole or halved), apple slices, berries, and mealworms on a platform-style feeder. You can pick up a platform feeder for a great price on Amazon.

2) Purchasing a grape jelly feeder is a great way to attract them to your yard using grape jelly, and applesauce.

3) Cedar waxwings also like suet cakes because they need protein in their diet. You can find suet cakes and a suet feeder on Amazon.

4) To attract these lovely birds, make sure you offer them a source of water near their food supply; this could be a birdbath with clean water or an open dish. 

5) The most popular and inexpensive technique is a simple sugar water mixture consisting of 1 part white sugar and 4 parts boiling water. You can add red food coloring if desired but it isn’t necessary.

6) These birds are attracted to bright colors like red, and orange so try offering them a piece of fruit on a bright orange-colored oriole feeder or even paint your existing one for an extra burst of color.

Cedar Waxwing at birdbath
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

Shrubs that Attract Cedar Waxwings

The Cedar Waxwing’s habitat includes many different types of shrubs.

  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Blackberry

Trees that Attract the Cedar Waxwings

 The Cedar Waxwing’s habitat includes many different types of trees. 

  • Juniper
  • Dogwood
  • Spruce 
  • Hemlock
  • Mulberry
  • Cherry
  • Hawthorn
  • Yew Tree
  • Serviceberry
  • Maple (used when nesting)
  • Cedar (used when nesting)
  • Crabapple
  • California Peppertree
  • Mountain Ash
  • Hawthorn 
  • Winterberry (holly)
  • Madrone
  • Elderberry
cedar waxwing eating blueberries
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

Frequently Asked Questions

What fruit do Cedar Waxwings eat?

Cedar waxwings are known for their love of fruit. They have a variety of favorite fruits and berries including cherries, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, apples, grapes, peaches, pears, figs, oranges, blackberries, and more.

Do Cedar Waxwings eat holly berries?

Cedar waxwings are a type of bird that likes to eat holly berries. The reason they like these berries is that they have a tart taste, which cedar waxwings enjoy. Cedar waxwings will also eat fruit such as blueberries and blackberries, but not in the same quantity as holly berries.

Do Cedar Waxwings eat elm buds?

It turns out that while cedar waxwings will eat elm buds when there are no other options available, it’s not their preferred choice of food. Cedar Waxwings are known for eating mostly fruit, so it is unlikely that they would consume elm buds if there are berries, and fruit available.

Are Cedar Waxwing birds rare?

Cedar Waxwing birds are not considered to be rare. They can be found in most of the continental United States and Canada during the winter months, though they do migrate south for summer. Cedar Waxwings also breed in temperate regions of Europe and Asia.

What do Cedar Waxwings eat off of apple trees?

They eat a wide variety of things, but one thing they have a particular taste for is apples. Cedar waxwings often flock to apple trees and gorge themselves on the fruit. They like to eat any sort of apple that’s available, whether it be red or green. But if there’s no other option, cedar waxwings will eat crab apples instead- although they’re not as tasty!