Waxwing - Hebridean Birds Sightings & Photos

Western Isles Birds - Waxwing - These cockatoo like birds with a crest and lovely waxy wing tips with yellow and red on are very pretty.

They are just winter visitors to Britain - most being seen in Scotland and The Western Isles - however odd years there can be an "irruption" of them and they can be seen in hundreds.

These lovely birds the waxwing are so pretty - their wing tips really do look waxy - bright yellow and red tips to the wings.
Waxwing -  Western Isles Bird Sightings
Bird Overview - Waxwing
Family
Waxwings (Bombycillidae)
Latin name
Bombycilla garrulus
Gochan cireaneach

 Population
A Winter Visitor to Western Isles
(usually small numbers - occasionally an odd year where there is am irruption)


Similar Species
Hawfinch
Description

The waxwing - a lovely rotund plump bird. The waxwing is slightly smaller than a starling and is really pretty. It has a very visible crest and is is reddish-brown or pinky beige with a black throat. The waxwing has black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail.

The secondary wing feathers have red waxy "fingers". The rump is grey and the vent is red. The legs and bill are black. Young birds have smaller crests, no black bib and no waxy red "fingers". These birds do not look unlike a cockatoo.

Size
18 cm (7")
Habitat
The parrot like birds only fleetingly visit Scotland - they live in Northern Europe in coniferous forests.

Food
Waxwings feed on insects insects, berries, particularly rowan and hawthorn, but also cotoneaster and rose .In the winter waxwings eat fruit and plant buds from trees and shrubs.
Voice
The song of the waxwing is a high pitched trilling "sirrrr" much like a small bell.
Breeding

The waxwing doesn't breed in the UK. The waxwing is a winter visitor to the Uk

Waxwings are natives of northern Europe where they breed in the summer and feed on insects. These lovely birds nest high up in the branches of trees in coniferous forests & birch woodland. Mossy, damp, lichen-rich places. The cup-shaped nest is built by both sexes from twigs, grass and moss. The female incubates the eggs. After the young hatch, they are fed by both parents

The waxwings lay 4 - 6 pale eggs which are a bluish colour. They nest in . Northern Scandinavia, Russia. Europe, North America and when the food runs out they come to Britain, Scotland and the Western Isles in occasionally large "irruptions" .

Misc. Info

The first waxwings to be seen in Britain 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. These birds live for up to twelve years. They are quite acrobatic while feeding and act more like a Tit or Warbler.

The last irruption of these birds was in 2004 - however this year (2010) bird watchers in the Western Isles have been lucky and up to the end of October - a few thousand of these birds have been seen on the Islands. Also some flocks have been seen in Sutherland on the mountains - where actually as there aren't the berries - you wouldn't normally expect them to be seen.

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