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Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus

Bohemian Waxwing


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Passeriformes
 Family: Bombycillidae
 Genus: Bombycilla
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least Concern Least Concern



Bohemian WaxwingThe bohemian waxwing is a medium-sized bird about 7.5-8.5 inches in length. It has a grayish-brown body, a crest of feathers on its head, and a black mask around its eyes. It has white and yellow edges on its wings and a waxy yellow tip on its tail. The underside of its tail is a reddish color. Males and females look alike. The cedar waxwing looks similar to the bohemiasn waxwing, but it does not have white edges on its wings or the reddish color under its tail and it has a yellowish belly.


mapThe bohemian waxwing's breeding range runs from Alaska east through Yukon, Northwest Territory, British Columbia , Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, Canada. In the winter it can be found in areas between the U.S. and Canadian border and as far south as Nevada, Utah, and Nebraska in the West. The word bohemian can mean a person who wanders from place to place and the bohemian waxwing is sometimes seen in locations outside of its normal range. It is also found in Eurasia.



Habitat and Diet

The bohemian waxwing breeds in open coniferous or mixed forests. In the winter, it can be found in places where it can find fruits and berries. In the winter, flocks rarely stay in one place long, once the berries run out, they move on to a new location. Bohemian waxwings also eat insects.

Life Cycle

The male bohemian waxwing courts the female by perching next to her on a branch. The male and the female hop towards each other and exchnage food and then hop away from each other. Breeding season can run anytime from March to late May. The female bohemian waxwing lays four to six eggs in a nest made of grass, moss, and down usually located high in a pine tree. She incubates the eggs for about 14 days. Both the male and the female feed the chicks. The chicks leave the nest when they are around 15-17 days-old. The life span of the bohemian waxwing is around five years.


Bohemian WaxwingBohemian waxwings are non-territorial and often travel in flocks of 50-300 birds or more birds. They often appear in a spot with a good crop of berries. When they have eaten all the berries, they move on!

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Ruud van Beusekom cc logo