Family Waxwings (Bombycillidae)

Least Concern

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)


French: Jaseur boréal German: Seidenschwanz Spanish: Ampelis Europeo
Other common names: Waxwing, Greater Waxwing, Common Waxwing

Lanius Garrulus


, 1758,



Appears to be most closely related to B. japonica. Geographical variation involves only minor plumage differences; individuals from E part of range of centralasiae often as dark as nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
B. g. garrulus (Linnaeus, 1758) - breeds N Sweden, far N Norway, N Finland and N Russia (S of tree-line) E to approximately Ural Mts; non-breeding S to Poland, the Balkans, Ukraine, irregularly farther S.
B. g. centralasiae Poliakov, 1915 - breeds C & E Russia S of tree-line from approximately Ural Mts E to Sea of Okhotsk and Kamchatka, S to Altai Mts, L Baikal and lower Amur Valley; non-breeding S to Kazakhstan, N China and Japan, rarely to N Indian Subcontinent, S China and Taiwan.
B. g. pallidiceps Reichenow, 1908 - breeds NW & NC North America; non-breeding E to SE Canada (Newfoundland) and S to C & NE USA, irregularly farther S.

Descriptive notes

19–23 cm; 34–85 g, average c. 55 g. Medium-sized passerine with prominent backward-pointing crest of moderate length, distinctive wing markings. Male nominate... read more


Most familiar call a ringing trill, “sirrr”, similar to that of B. cedrorum... read more


Breeds in boreal forest and muskeg. Prefers relatively open forest or edge, usually coniferous, e.g... read more

Food and feeding

Predominantly fruits and insects. Other foods noted include buds of various trees, flowers, tree sap, bark, shoots and leaves, moss and... read more


Relatively late season; some nests with eggs in late May, but laying more often begins mid-Jun and may continue to end Jul. Apparently... read more


Partial migrant, withdraws from large portion of breeding range in winter. Main non-breeding range... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common. Populations estimated at 25,500–102,000 pairs in Scandinavia and 100,000–1,000,000 pairs in Russia. No estimates for North... read more

Recommended citation

Mountjoy, J. (2005). Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2013). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 3 September 2014).