Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

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Waxwings are very distinct plump cocky almost colourful looking birds, slightly smaller than a starling. It has a prominent crest. It is reddish-brown with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail. It does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor, in some years in larger numbers, called irruptions, when the population on its breeding grounds gets too big for the food available.

Where does it live?

Dense northern forests, with lichen-covered pines
Parks and gardens, even busy public places – anywhere where there are berry-bearing trees and bushes.
As wintering.

What does it eat?

Berries, particularly rowan and hawthorn, but also cotoneaster and rose.

What does it sound like?

It makes a high-pitched, trilling ‘sirrrrr’, like a bell.

When to see it

October to March.

Similar Birds

Starling, Hawfinch