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20+ Cedar Waxwing Dead at Front Door

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Hi Everyone,

Today I found 20+ Cedar Waxing dead at front door. Really shocked to see so many at a time. I wonder what had caused that(possible food poisoning) and what shall I do to help? The berry they were eating looks like small blue berries(munch smaller, see pic).  I was able to rescue the only one which was not dead yet. 

It seems she(maybe him) isn't willing to fly although she can. Shall I feed her till she is better(and how) or I just let her go?

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Welcome to Whatbird!!

First, thank you for rescuing and caring for the survivor!! The best thing is to try to locate a bird rehab center nearby and take it there. If you do, I would suggest taking one or more of the berries to show them what the birds were feeding on. Having said that, I've never personally known of a bird eating berries that were poisonous to them. I suppose it's possible, but it could be that the berries have been sprayed with something poisonous. Again, thank you!!!

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Welcome!

I'm sorry this happened.  I doubt it's food poisoning.  Did you find them there first thing in the morning?  I'm wondering if they got scared by something at night and ran into your house because they couldn't see.

It is illegal to keep protected wild bird species in captivity and nurse them back to health unless you have a license.  As Bird Brain said, it is best to bring the survivor to a licensed rehabber.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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Thank you so much everyone. 

It happened between 1 pm and 3 pm Eastern Time since my wife said everything was good when she was out at 1 o'clock. I will take the survivor with the berry sample to bird rehab center tomorrow. And I don't see any Nandina around. 

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Oooohhh, that is so sad!  :(:(

I agree with what Bird Brain said.  THANK YOU for saving and caring for the survivor!

Please give them a peaceful final resting place!

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16 hours ago, Bird Brain said:

Having said that, I've never personally known of a bird eating berries that were poisonous to them. 

Google stories of nandina berries and cedar waxwings. 

Having said that, the berry in question doesn't look like nandina. I wonder if The Bird Nuts is right and they got spooked and ran themselves into the house or something of that nature. 

I would be so sad to find that at my front door! Poor birdies.

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Maybe the berries had fermented. I found some info at this link. http://www.audubon.org/news/spring-air-and-so-are-intoxicated-birds

***Yet birds don’t need manmade liquor to get drunk—nature provides the means for intoxication this time of year. “Fermentation toxicity is most common in late winter and early spring when thawing of overwintered berries allows for yeast fermentation of the sugars in the berries,” reports the National Wildlife Health Center.

Cedar waxwings and robins are most likely to gorge on fermented blackberries, pyracantha or juniper berries, crabapples or mountain ash fruits. “These birds may be tipsy, inadvertent victims of alcohol consumption,” Oregon State University’s Extension Office reports

Last March a berry binge led to the deaths of about 50 cedar waxwings found along a road in Harris County, Texas. National Wildlife Health Center tests showed that berries collected from a nearby Ilex shrub contained 800 ppm ethanol by wet weight: “enough to produce intoxication in these birds that could have resulted in compromised behavior and subsequent fatal trauma.”***

Tipsy birds may be more likely to smash into windows, so consider putting decals on the large reflective surfaces. (Check out our info on window decals and bird-safe building guidelines.) If a bird crashes into your window and survives, Jeff Picton of the Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Corvallis recommends leaving it alone if it’s not in danger from cats or other predators.

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When I lived in northern Cal, Cedar Waxwings and American Robins would get drunk on Pyracantha berries and crash all the time. We have the berries in my neighborhood here in San Diego county, but I never see the birds getting drunk on them here.

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