Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Bombycillidae
BTO Codes: WX, WAXWI EURING No: 10480
Number in Britain: 10 thousand birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Winter Visitor
Subspecies: garrulus recorded in Britain (of 2 subsp. in the world)
Length: 18 cm Wingspan: 34 cm Weight: M/F: 63 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: Bombukos=silk + Mod. L. cilla=tail and L.: garrulus=chattering
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Eurasia, nw North America, WINTERS: Irregularly to s Europe & c US
Habitat: Coniferous forest, birch woodland
Diet: Summer, insects esp. midges & mosquitos, winter, fruit and plant buds from trees
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
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Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Winter: 10 thousand individuals in 2006/07 - 2010/11
    First Record: York, 1680 [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: garrulus GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
European Population Size:
    Summer: 30 to 200 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III)
Survey Results:

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 24 x 18 mm Egg Weight: 3.8 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 5 eggs
Incubation: 13- 14 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 15 - 17days as: Altricial, naked
First Clutches Laid: Does not breed in Britain, or too few Nest Records
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 2 years 11 months 24 days (set in 1977)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: B+
Wing Length Adult: 117.3 ± 2.5 Range 113 - 121 mm, N =723
Juvenile: 117.0 ± 2.3 113 - 121 mm, N =293
Male: 117.6 ± 2.5 114 - 121 mm, N =369
Female: 117.1 ± 2.5 113 - 121 mm, N =321
Weight Adult: 58.10 ± 4.61 Range 51.00 - 66.00 g , N =650
Juvenile: 57.49 ± 5.85 48.30 - 66.00 g , N =263
Male: 58.14 ± 4.68 51.00 - 66.00 g , N =329
Female: 58.08 ± 4.57 51.00 - 66.00 g , N =291
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Bohemian Waxwing
Gaelic: Canranach-dearg Welsh: Cynffon Sidan
Danish: Silkehale Dutch: Pestvogel
Finnish: Tilhi French: Jaseur boréal
German: Seidenschwanz Hungarian: Csonttollú
Icelandic: Silkitoppa Irish: Síodeiteach
Italian: Beccofrusone Norwegian: Sidensvans
Polish: Jemioluszka zwyczajna Portuguese: Tagarela-europeu
Spanish: Ampelis Swedish: Sidensvans
Local Names: Silktail, Chatterer

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