Family Waxwings (Bombycillidae)

Near Threatened

Japanese Waxwing (Bombycilla japonica)


French: Jaseur du Japon German: Blutseidenschwanz Spanish: Ampelis japonés

Bombycivora japonica


, 1824,

Kumamoto and Fukuoka P refectures, Kyushu, Japan


See remarks under B. garrulus. Monotypic.


SE Russia (E Yakutia, Khabarovsk and Amur), also irregularly in adjacent NE China (N Heilongjiang); non-breeding mainly E China, Korea and Japan.

Descriptive notes

15–18 cm; 54–64 g. Medium-sized passerine with prominent backward-pointing crest of moderate length, distinctive wing markings. Male has black mask from base of... read more


Commonest call a high-pitched trill, similar to that of congeners, but shorter (150–380... read more


Breeds in forested areas; apparently favours coniferous trees, including larch (Larix),... read more

Food and feeding

Few data, but diet apparently similar to that of congeners. Summer foods include Vaccinium berries and insects. Feeds on variety... read more


Little information available. Probably relatively late breeder; laying from early Jun, female specimen from R Amur in late Jun was... read more


Relatively short-distance migrant. Apparently vacates breeding range almost completely; some may... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Generally uncommon, but locally common in suitable breeding habitat. Occurs in relatively limited range, and... read more

Recommended citation

Mountjoy, J. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Japanese Waxwing (Bombycilla japonica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 May 2019).