Bookmark and Share

bird Waxwings

Identify It >   Birds Section >   Waxwings >

Scientific name:  Bombycilla garrulus

Size:  Approx 18cm

Distribution:  This winter visitor can show up anywhere in the UK but especially along the east coast of Britain from Scotland to East Anglia.

Months seen:  October to March

Habitat:  Fruit and berry trees in hedgerows, gardens, parks and often in supermarket car parks

Food:  Hawthorn, mountain ash (rowan), guelder rose, cotoneaster, rose hips and apples

Special features:  Waxwings are small, stocky birds with predominantly orange-buff colouration.  There is a black 'mask' around the eyes and a black 'beard' just below the beak.  They have a prominent crest on the head, yellow and white colouration in the wings and a yellow tipped tail.  Some of the wing feathers are tipped with a vivid glossy red colour, which is where the 'Waxwings' name comes from as this looks like red sealing wax.  This red colouring can sometimes be seen at the very ends of the tail feathers.

These stunning little birds often visit the UK in winter for food when wild berries are in short supply in Scandinavia and Russia.

Related Pages

free newsletter