The Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) is a small to medium-sized songbird that is known for its distinctive crest and flashy plumage. They typically measure around 7.5 inches in length and weigh between 1.0 and 1.3 ounces.
One of the most distinctive field marks of the Bohemian Waxwing is its crest, which is a tuft of feathers that stands upright on the bird’s head. In addition to this, the Bohemian Waxwing also has a black mask that surrounds its eyes and a black band on its tail. The most striking feature of this bird, however, is its plumage, which is characterized by bold patches of bright pink or red on its wings and tail feathers.
Another characteristic of the Bohemian Waxwing is its migratory habits. These birds are known for making long-distance migrations, traveling from their breeding grounds in the northern boreal forests of Canada and Alaska to their wintering grounds in the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, and the northern Great Plains. During migration, large flocks of Bohemian Waxwings can be seen moving through the sky in search of food, making them a familiar sight to many birdwatchers.
When it comes to diet, the Bohemian Waxwing is primarily a fruit eater, with a preference for the berries of mountain ash, cedar, and juniper trees. They also feed on insects, especially during the breeding season when they are raising their young. Despite their diet of mostly fruit, Bohemian Waxwings are known for their ability to consume large amounts of food in a single sitting, leading to them sometimes appearing quite plump.
Overall, the Bohemian Waxwing is a beautiful and fascinating bird that is well-known for its distinctive crest, flashy plumage, and long-distance migrations. Whether you are a seasoned birder or just starting out, these birds are sure to capture your attention and leave a lasting impression. So, next time you are out in the field, keep an eye out for these striking birds, and you may just get the chance to witness their beauty for yourself.