Wildlife advent calendar: Day 8: Waxwing

Another beautiful and very distinguishable bird, the waxwing has a very prominent crest with yellow on its wings and tail. It visits the UK only during the winter months arriving on the east coast in October and departing again around March time.

Usually they arrive only in small numbers but some years large flocks head over from their breeding grounds in Scandinavia and Russia in search of food. These large flocks often appear when their food source in northern Europe, rowan berry crops, have failed.

Waxwings got their name as a result of the bright red tips on their wings which were thought to have a resemblance to the red colour of sealing wax that was used on envelopes.

 

Acknowledgements:

Image taken from Flickr user Francesco Veronesi

RSPB page

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