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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 818159, 4 pages
Case Report

Feeding Behavior-Related Toxicity due to Nandina domestica in Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory, Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Georgia, 43 Brighton Road, Tifton, GA 31793, USA

Received 12 August 2010; Revised 1 October 2010; Accepted 5 November 2010

Academic Editor: Guillermo Virkel

Copyright © 2010 Moges Woldemeskel and Eloise L. Styer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dozens of Cedar Waxwings were found dead in Thomas County, Georgia, USA, in April 2009. Five of these were examined grossly and microscopically. Grossly, all the examined birds had pulmonary, mediastinal, and tracheal hemorrhages. Microscopically, several tissues and organs were diffusely congested and hemorrhagic. Congestion and hemorrhage were marked in the lungs. Intact and partly digested berries of Nandina domestica Thunb. were the only ingesta found in the gastrointestinal tract of these birds. Due to their voracious feeding behavior, the birds had eaten toxic doses of N. domestica berries. N. domestica contains cyanide and is one of the few berries readily available at this time of the year in the region. The gross and microscopic findings are consistent with lesions associated with cyanide toxicity. This paper for the first time documents toxicity associated with N. domestica in Cedar Waxwings.