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Conservation status: Green

The waxwing is a plump bird, which is 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.



Latin name

Bombycilla garrulus


Waxwings (Bombycillidae)

Where to see them

The first British arrivals each winter are usually seen on the east coast from Scotland to East Anglia, but birds move inland in search of food, increasing the chances of seeing one inland.

When to see them

October to March.

What they eat

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


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--11,000 birds-




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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