Waxwings perching in tree


Waxwings are starling-sized, stout-bodied, short-legged birds with an upstanding, pointed crest. They have black throats, black wings with white, yellow and waxy red markings and yellow-tipped tails.

Just one species breeds in Europe and visits the UK erratically in winter during 'irruption years'. Irruptions occur when population increases and shortages of food, particularly rowan berries, in its normal European range trigger large movements of birds to the south and west. One other species of waxwing normally found in North America has appeared in the UK on rare occasions.