Bohemian Waxwing

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Image:BohemianWaxwing.JPG

Common Name: Bohemian Waxwing
Scientific Name: Bombycilla garrulus

Size: 6.3-8inches (16-21cm)

Habitat: North America, Europe and Asia; It breeds in coniferous forests throughout the most northern parts of Europe, Asia and western North America.

It breeds in open coniferous or mixed forests, especially taiga. It winters wherever fruits are found, including gardens, parklands, and cities.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals. Populations are decreasing throughout its range.

Diet: Berries supplemented by insects (especially during the breeding season). They fly-catch for flying insects, glean insects from vegetation and pluck fruit while perched, sometimes hover briefly to snatch fruit. They swallow the fruit whole.

Breeding: It is larger, fatter and greyer than the Cedar Waxwing and has bright yellow, black or rusty orange color on its tail feather tips and a yellow, white, red or black stripe along the wing feathers. Under tail coverts are a deep rust color. Both beak and feet are dark and the brown eyes are set in a narrow black mask underlined with white.

The preferred nest location is usually high in a pine tree, but feeding opportunities determine the location chosen. Each bird or pair may have more than one nest in the same general area. The nests have an outer diameter of 15 cm to 18 cm and are lined with fine grass, moss, and down. On average, 4 to 6 eggs are laid. The egg shells have a pale bluish color with a heavy sprinkling of blackish spots and some dark, irregular lines. Incubation is around 14 days and the young leave the nest about 13 to 15 days after hatching.

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.

The call is a pleasant ringing sound, similar to that of the Cedar Waxwing but lower-pitched.


Found in Songbird ReMix Cool 'n' Unusual Birds 3

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