No matter where you travel in Canada, you are likely to see at least one cedar waxwing bird. Because the cedar waxwing likes to feed in flocks, you are likely to see more than one, perhaps in your own backyard. It is featured on the newest Canadian coins for sale in the Colourful Bird series, which is good news for those who like coin collecting and birdwatching alike.
Where Does the Cedar Waxwing Bird Get Its Name?
Cedar waxwings primarily feed on insects and berries. In the winter, food becomes scarce, but cedar berries are still available. These become the waxwings’ primary source of food until spring comes, which is why they have “cedar” in their names.
If you look at the tips of the feathers on the bird’s wings, you may see what looks like red drops. It may look as though the bird has dipped its feathers in hot wax, but this is actually a secretion from the bird’s body. The purpose of these secretions is unclear, but the red-tipped wings are distinctive enough to give the cedar waxwing bird the second part of its name. One theory is that the bright red colouration may assist the cedar waxwing in attracting a mate.
What Does the Cedar Waxwing Look Like?
The cedar waxwing is a medium-sized songbird, smaller than a robin but larger than a sparrow. The feathers on a cedar waxwing’s head are brown and form a little crest that extends out over the neck. There is a mask of black feathers over each eye. Brown feathers on the neck fade to grey feathers on the back and wings, making the red tips stand out even more prominently. In the front, brown feathers on the neck fade to pale yellow on its belly.
The tail feathers of the cedar waxwing fade from dark grey to black except at the tips. These are usually yellow unless the young cedar waxwing has eaten many berries containing a certain red pigment. As the bird grows up, the tips of the tail feathers may appear more orange.
Where Do Cedar Waxwings Live?
Cedar waxwings are found throughout North America, including all Canadian provinces and territories. If they can find enough food, they may stay in Canada through the summer and winter.
Are There Any Other Similar Types of Birds?
There is another subspecies of waxwing bird called the Bohemian waxwing. Though similar in colouration to the cedar waxwing, it is slightly bigger. Learn more about Bird Themed coins.
What Is Special About The Design of the Cedar Waxwing Coin?
The cedar waxwing coin is selectively coloured so that the bird and the branch it is perched on stand out from the background image of a backyard path with a garden trellis. The bird perches on the branch of a flowering crabapple tree, the source of one of its favourite foods. Both the flowers and the fruits are in evidence.
Tony Bianco, the artist who designed the coin’s reverse, put the bird at approximately eye level. Like most birds, cedar waxwings are skittish of humans and typically do not allow them to get too close, but the perspective of the coin’s design makes it appear as though you are standing next to the bird, the better to admire its gorgeous plumage and the red spots on the wings. The berries, flowers, and leaves of the crabapple branch appear in soft pastel colours to complement the waxwing’s feathers without overwhelming them.
What Makes the Cedar Waxwing Coin Good for Coin Collecting?
The beautiful coin is 99.99% pure silver with a proof finish. Both coin collectors and nature lovers should appreciate the delightful scene of the colourful bird on the branch. Find this coin for sale at Colonial Acres.