Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 995–998

Strong circumstantial evidence for ethanol toxicosis in Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum)

  • Hailu Kinde
  • Eileen Foate
  • Emily Beeler
  • Fransisco Uzal
  • Janet Moore
  • Robert Poppenga
Short Note


Several flocks of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) were found dead after colliding with solid objects such as picture windows, plexiglass, and fences. Necropsy examination revealed that all birds had engorged themselves with over-ripe berries of the Brazilian Pepper Tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) and had hemorrhages in the breast muscles and the coelomic cavity due to hepatic rupture. Microscopic examination of tissues revealed no underlying pathological conditions. Ethanol was detected at levels of 260–1,000 ppm in the intestinal contents and liver, respectively. The cause of death in these birds was trauma that resulted from colliding with hard objects when flying under the influence of ethanol.


Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing Ethanol Schinus terebinthifolius Toxicosis 


Ethanol-Vergiftung beim Zedernseidenschwanz (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Gruppen von Zedernseidenschwänzen wurden nach Zusammenstößen mit festen Objekten wie Panoramafenstern, Plexiglas und Zäunen tot aufgefunden. Die Untersuchung der Körper ergab, dass sich die Vögel an überreifen Beeren des brasilianischen Pfefferbaums (Schinus terebinthifolius) überfressen hatten und aufgrund von Rissen im Leberparenchyms starke Blutungen im Bereich des Brustmuskels und der Leibeshöhle aufwiesen. Die Gewebe-Mikroskopie zeigte keine tiefer gehenden Ursachen; aber im Verdauungstrakt wie auch in der Leber konnte Ethanol in Konzentrationen von 260  bis 1,000 ppm nachgewiesen werden. Die Todesursache war bei diesen Vögeln ein Trauma, das sie höchstwahrscheinlich als Ursache von Zusammenstößen mit harten Gegenständen unter einer Ethanolvergiftung davontrugen.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hailu Kinde
    • 1
  • Eileen Foate
    • 3
  • Emily Beeler
    • 4
  • Fransisco Uzal
    • 1
  • Janet Moore
    • 1
  • Robert Poppenga
    • 2
  1. 1.California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory SystemCAHFS-San Bernardino Branch LaboratorySan BernardinoUSA
  2. 2.California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, CAHFS-Davis LaboratoryUniversity of California Davis, School of Veterinary MedicineDavisUSA
  3. 3.Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary MedicinePomonaUSA
  4. 4.Veterinary Public Health and Rabies Control Program Los Angeles CountyDepartment of Public HealthDowneyUSA

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