Bombycillidae - Waxwings

The waxwings are a small family of uncertain affinities. They get their name from the waxy tips to the secondary feathers possessed (only) by the European Bohemian Waxwing and the North American Cedar Waxwing. Waxwings are gregarious birds of northern forests and they feed mostly on fruit (indeed their nesting is timed to coincide with ripening of the summer fruits). Their movements are tied to the production of fruit, in poor fruit years they may irrupt in large numbers, wandering well beyond their normal range.

The Waxwing is the only species to occur regularly in Britain, usually along the east coast, though numbers are very variable between years.

Regularly Occurring Species

Waxwing

Occasional Visitors

Cedar Waxwing