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Waxwing Alert

by Bryan on January 29th, 2012

Bohemian Waxwings are starting to turn up this winter around New England. This is a drop-dead-gorgeous cousin of our more common Cedar Waxwing, also a handsome bird. Why “Bohemian?” Nope, they don’t wear black turtlenecks and little black berets. The name refers to the nomadic tendencies of this species, like people inhabiting or passing through the Bohemia region of Europe.

This waxwing breeds in the northwestern portion of the continent, and in some winters moves great distances, from Alaska to as far as southern New England. Look for them feeding on ornamental crab-apple trees in your city or town. (This one is eating my high-bush cranberries.) The best field mark to distinguish Bohemian Waxwing from Cedar Waxwing are the rusty undertail feathers on Bohemian (creamy white in Cedar). In any event, I find Bohemian Waxwing to be among our most elegant winter birds.

Here’s an interactive map of Bohemian Waxwing sightings since January 1. When it comes up, click on the “Show Points Sooner” box to the right for a better view of locations.

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From → Birds

2 Comments
  1. N Wasko permalink

    Bryan,
    This is the most beautiful shot of the most truly elegant bird that I’ve ever seen. Thank you! It’s been 20 years since Cedar Wax Wings graced us with their presence here in Jericho Center. Is there hope, you think, that the Bohemian might drop by?

    Hope you are well.

    Norma

  2. Had a nice eruption of Bohemian Waxwings for a couple-three days and then a Cooper’s Hawk arrived and “everybody” left. The waxwings could hear the camera shutter from inside the house and made short range photography difficult for me.

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