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Bohemian Waxwing

ID Info
Silhouette WaxwingsWaxwings
Bohemian WaxwingBombycilla garrulus
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Bombycillidae

Basic Description

True to their name, Bohemian Waxwings wander like bands of vagabonds across the northern United States and Canada in search of fruit during the nonbreeding season. High-pitched trills emanate from the skies as large groups descend on fruiting trees and shrubs at unpredictable places and times. These regal birds sport a spiky crest and a peach blush across their face. Unlike the familiar Cedar Waxwing, they have rusty feathers under the tail and white marks on the wings.

More ID Info
image of range map for Bohemian Waxwing
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

The bohemian wanderings of this waxwing make them a little unpredictable to find. The best place for most people to see them is during migration and winter (September–March) in the northern United States and Canada, when they come south from their breeding range and move around in search of fruit. Check dense patches of fruiting shrubs like mountain ash and listen for their high-pitched trills. Watch the skies for tight flocks that descend en masse towards fruiting trees and shrubs. If you see or hear a group of American Robins or Cedar Waxwings, check the flock for Bohemian Waxwings as they sometimes flock together.

Other Names

  • Ampelis Europeo (Spanish)
  • Jaseur boréal (French)

Backyard Tips

Bohemian Waxwing's nomadic nature makes it difficult to predict if and when they might show up in your yard to visit a platform feeder. But they are fruit connoisseurs, so planting a native tree or shrub that holds its fruit late into the fall and winter may bring in any that pass through your area. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best with the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds tool.

  • Cool Facts