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Bohemian Waxwing


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Bohemian Waxwing is an irregular winter visitor from the far North. It comes primarily to states and provinces along the United States/Canada border, a bit farther southward in the West.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
6.3–7.5 in
16–19 cm
13 in
33 cm
1.6–2.4 oz
45–69 g
Other Names
  • Jaseur boréal, Jaseur de Boheme (French)
  • Ampelis europeo (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The name "Bohemian" refers to the nomadic movements of winter flocks. It comes from the inhabitants of Bohemia, meaning those that live an unconventional lifestyle or like that of gypsies.
  • The Bohemian Waxwing does not hold breeding territories, probably because the fruits it eats are abundant, but available only for short periods. One consequence of this non-territorial lifestyle is that it has no true song. It does not need one to defend a territory.
  • Only three species of waxwings exist. The Bohemian and Japanese waxwings have white edges to the wing feathers, but the Cedar Waxwing does not. An unusual Cedar Waxwing was found with the ornate wing pattern, suggesting that the ancestor of all three species had a patterned wing.
  • The oldest recorded Bohemian Waxwing was at least 5 years, 10 months old when it was found in British Columbia in 1973. It had been banded in Saskatchewan in 1968.



Breeds in open coniferous or mixed forests, especially taiga. Winters wherever fruits are found, including gardens, parklands, and cities.



Fleshy fruit and insects.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–6 eggs
Egg Description
Pale blue-gray with sparse black spots.
Condition at Hatching
Hatch naked and helpless.
Nest Description

Nest is a bulky open cup of twigs, grasses, and moss, camouflaged with a covering of mosses and lichens. Placed on tree branch near trunk.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Flycatches for flying insects; gleans insects from vegetation. Plucks fruit while perched, or may hover briefly to snatch fruit. Swallows entire fruit.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Bohemian Waxwing are found across northern North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. Populations appear stable. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 4 million with 26% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 34% in Canada. They are a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and rate a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. They are not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List.


Range Map Help

Bohemian Waxwing Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Backyard Tips

Bohemian Waxwings sometimes visit backyards within their range, where they may eat fruits and sometimes visit platform feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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