What Does a Cedar Waxwing Call Sound Like?

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021

Learn how to identify a cedar waxwing call and hear what the species sounds like. Then you can listen for these birds in your backyard.

cedar waxwing callCourtesy Britney Fox
Cedar waxwings call in a flowering crabapple tree

Although waxwings are classified as songbirds, their singing voices are nothing to sing about. You might hear a group of waxwings before you see them, so you should learn to identify their high-pitched sseee call. Every cedar waxwing call will be some variation of these high, thin notes. When a huge flock of waxwings is perched a nearby tree or flying overhead, you’ll definitely notice the noisy group.

Bohemian waxwings make rougher, lower versions of the same call, with minor variations. Neither species has an actual song. Male birds usually sing to defend their territories, and since waxwings are sociable all year, they apparently don’t need such a defense. Waxwings often nest in colonies.

Listen to the cedar waxwing call to help you can identify these birds.

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Next, learn how to tell the difference between bohemian waxwings and cedar waxwings.