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Waxwings and Silky Flycatchers: Bombycillidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Cedar Waxwing (bombycilla Cedrorum): Species Accounts, Gray Hypocolius (hypocolius Ampelinus): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SILKY F


Each of the three groups has a different range. Waxwings are present across temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, while the cedar waxwing winters as far south as Guatemala. Silky flycatchers occupy habitat from the southern United States into Central America, and the gray hypocolius lives in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Waxwings have become increasingly common in suburban neighborhoods, where they feast on fruits and berry-producing bushes. However, they prefer rows of bushes, shrubs, or trees, and open woodlands. Silky flycatchers and the hypocolius live in dry scrub, characterized by straggly, stunted tree and shrub growth, and desert.

The staple foods for this family are fruit and berries. Cedar waxwings have a special part of their esophagus in which they store these foods, probably to make the most of the materials they can digest while foraging, searching for food. These birds also eat insects, and will fly after them, pick them off leaves or bark, or dive after them from high perches.

Because they tend to move suddenly and in large numbers into human areas in search of food, people sometimes view the arrival of these birds as an invasion. Waxwings especially, which tend to fly into windows in suburban areas and to gorge on any berry-producing bushes, are occasionally considered pests.

None of the birds in this family are listed as endangered or threatened. In fact, in North America, populations of cedar waxwings have increased.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds