Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cedar Waxwing Snow Drinking

In the Carleton College campus, on 13 November 2018, I came upon a Cedar Waxwing that appeared to be drinking snow. Never have I seen this behavior. I was surprised, because I have always thought that drinking snow is a metabolically foolish behavior for warm-blooded animals—certainly a fast track to hypothermia. A quick Google search sent me straight to Witmer et al. (2014), in Birds of North America, who write “Cedar Waxwings often drink water or eat snow in winter, since the sugar in their fruit diet can dehydrate the birds.” 

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