Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bohemian Waxwing influx

Bohemian Waxwings are famously irruptive. Our first of the season showed up about a month ago, on October 16. Since then I've noticed a few small flocks of up to a dozen birds around town. Most were foraging in ornamental crab apple trees.

Today, those same crab apple trees hosted scores of newly arrived birds. Elsewhere, I saw and heard many more flocks of up to 80 birds. Clearly, they're on the move. Because their winter survival depends on a steady supply of sugary fruit, there is nothing to keep them here once the crab apples are gone. In neighbouring jurisdictions like Algoma, where there are good crops of Mountain-ash fruit, the Bohemian Waxwings should settle in for the winter.

Here are a few photos from today.

[click on images to enlarge]
The Bohemian Waxwing has an Holarctic distribution. In Europe it is known simply as the Waxwing. Birds from northern Europe are, just now, arriving in the U.K. Here are some truly wonderful Waxwing photographs taken a few weeks ago in Scotland.


  1. Over here at the Vermilon River,all my waxwings are gone. There's just no berries left to support them.

  2. Great picture of BW gorging on the red berries! We haven't seen any yet in New England. If they come this year, it's most likely later in the winter when they have exhausted the supply of berries in Canada.