The Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) is a member of the waxwing family of passerines. A sleek bird, 18–21 cm long with a pointed crest, it travels in large, nomadic groups with a strong, direct flight. It breeds in coniferous forests throughout the most northern parts of Europe, Asia and western North America. As the Cedar Waxwing inhabits only North America and the Japanese Waxwing only Asia, the Bohemian Waxwing is the only member of this family whose range circumnavigates all the continents just below the sub-Arctic latitudes.
It is larger, fatter and greyer than the Cedar Waxwing and has bright yellow, black or rusty orange color on its tail feather tips and a yellow, white, red or black stripe along the wing feathers. Under tail coverts are a deep rust color. Both beak and feet are dark and the brown eyes are set in a narrow black mask underlined with white.
The call is a pleasant ringing sound, similar to that of the Cedar Waxwing but lower-pitched.
The preferred nest location is usually high in a pine tree but feeding opportunities determine the location chosen. Each bird or pair may have more than one nest in the same general area. The nests have an outer diameter of 15 cm to 18 cm and are lined with fine grass, moss, and down. On average, 4 to 6 eggs are laid, the egg shells having a pale bluish color with a heavy sprinkling of blackish spots and some dark, irregular lines. Incubation is around 14 days and the young leave the nest about 13 to 15 days after hatching.
Food and movements 
This species is irruptive, moving in unpredictable migration patterns from year to year, and particularly moving south, often in huge numbers, if the berry supply fails in winter, often reaching as far as Great Britain and Ireland; large numbers appeared in both countries in the winters of 2011-2 and 2012-3. The largest irruption was probably that of 1946-7, caused by one of the most severe winters of the century: as many as 12,500 birds reached Britain.
Birds in winter can be quite confident around humans and will come into gardens for berry bushes and trees, a favourite being the rowan.
Its English name refers to the bright red bead-like tips of the secondary feathers on its wings, which look like drops of sealing wax, while "Bohemian" refers to the Romani (gypsies), with a comparison to this bird's wandering, or to its (presumed) origin from Bohemia (at the time, a relatively unknown "distant, eastern" place to most English speakers). The generic name Bombycilla, from Latin Bombyx (silk / silk moth) + Scientific Latin cilla (tail), is a direct translation of the Swedish name Sidensvans (German Seidenschwanz), silk-tail, and refers to the silky-soft plumage of the bird; the species name garrulus meaning "talkative" refers to a resemblance to the European Jay (Glandularius garrulus).
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- BirdLife International (2012). "Bombycilla garrulus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Holloway, Joel Ellis (2003). Dictionary of Birds of the United States: Scientific and Common Names. Timber Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-88192-600-0. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
- Cocker, Mark and Mabey, Richard Birds Brittanica Chatto and Windus 2005 p.326
- For more on the origin of Bombycilla see Waxwing.
Further reading 
||This article's further reading may not follow Wikipedia's content policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive, less relevant or many publications with the same point of view; or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (February 2011)|
- Witmer, M. C. 2002. Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus). In The Birds of North America, No. 714 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- Burns JB. M.S. (2000). Sexual dichromatism in Bohemian waxwings. Utah State University, United States—Utah.
- Howell JC. Ph.D. (1973). COMMUNICATIVE BEHAVIOR IN THE CEDAR WAXWING (BOMBYCILLA CEDRORUM) AND THE BOHEMIAN WAXWING (BOMBYCILLA GARRULUS). University of Michigan, United States—Michigan.
- Berthold P. (1976). The Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus as a Frugivorous Feeding Specialist. Experientia. vol 32, no 11.
- Bojanski T. (1967). Mass Appearance of Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus in Old City Stare Miasto Warsaw Poland. Notatki Ornitologiczne. vol 8, no 2-3. pp. 61–62.
- Borowski S. (1966). On the Food of the Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus Mistletoe-D Snowberry-D Wayfaring-Tree-D. Przeglad Zoologiczny. vol 10, no 1. pp. 62–64.
- Car Z. (1973). The Spring Migration of the Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus in 1954. Larus. vol 10, no 1973.
- Cvitanic A. (1958). Observation of the Waxwings Bombycilla-Garrulus Nutrition in Captivity. Larus. vol 13, pp. 49–50.
- Cvitanic A. (1960). Characters of Specimens of Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus Collected in Croatia Slovenia Serbia and Vojvodina. Larus. vol 14, pp. 121–126.
- Dorning H. (1980). Unusual Feather Ornament of the Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus-Garrulus. Larus. vol 3, no 49.
- Fernbach J. (1960). Waxwings Bombycilla-Garrulus in Winter 1959–1960 in Subotica. Larus. vol 14, no 154.
- Fouarge J & Vandevondele P. (2005). Synthesis on the exceptional invasion of Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) in Europe in 2004–2005. Aves. vol 42, no 4. pp. 281–311.
- Fouarge J & Vandevondele P. (2006). The Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) during the 2004–2005 invasion. Analysis of Belgian and Luxemburg data. Notes on behavior in Belgium and Europe. Aves. vol 43, no 3. pp. 129–156.
- Grubbe O. (1971). Further Observations on the Bohemian Waxwing. Gefiederte Welt. vol 95, no 8. pp. 153–154.
- Harmata W. (1987). On Food in Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus L. Field and Laboratory Observations. Przeglad Zoologiczny. vol 31, no 3. pp. 359–364.
- Houston CS. (1968). Bohemian Waxwing Banding. Ring International Ornithological Bulletin. vol 55, pp. 116–118.
- Hummel ER. (1971). The 1st Waxwings Bombycilla-Garrulus. Gefiederte Welt. vol 95, no 12.
- Jacob J-P. (1996). Invasion of waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) in the beginning of 1996 in Wallonia and in Brussels. Aves. vol 33, no 3. pp. 137–152.
- James PC, Smith AR, Oliphant LW & Warkentin IG. (1987). Northward Expansion of the Wintering Range of Richardson's Merlin. Journal of Field Ornithology. vol 58, no 2. pp. 112–117.
- Johnson JW. (1970). Bohemian Waxwing Ceremony at Huron. South Dakota Bird Notes. vol 22, no 3. pp. 103–104.
- Kalden G. (2003). [Observations of Bombycilla garrulus in the winter of 2002-03.]. Vogelkundliche Hefte Edertal. vol 29, pp. 55–58.
- Kalden G. (2005). Largest Bohemian waxwing invasion (Bombycilla garrulus) in forty years. Vogelkundliche Hefte Edertal. vol 31, pp. 68–71.
- Keve A. (1972). 2 Year Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus-Garrulus Invasion. Larus. vol 5, pp. 53–60.
- Keve A. (1980). 10 Year Study of Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus Invasions in Hungary and in the Carpathian Basin 1938–1939 1947–1948. Larus. vol 3, pp. 43–47.
- Klein B. (1971). Bombycilla-Garrulus and Nucifraga-Caryocatactes. Alauda. vol 39, no 1. pp. 78–79.
- Koenig WD & Knops JMH. (2001). Seed-crop size and eruptions of North American boreal seed-eating birds. Journal of Animal Ecology. vol 70, no 4. pp. 609–620.
- Kolunen H & Vikberg P. (1978). Migrations of the Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus 1969–1977 Paijat-Hame. Ornis Fennica. vol 55, no 3. pp. 126–131.
- Peck MK, Coady G, Binsfeld G & Konze KR. (2004). First documented nest record of Bohemian Waxwing in Ontario. Ontario Birds. vol 22, no 1. pp. 9–14.
- Petersen MR, Weir DN & Dick MH. (1991). Birds of the Kilbuck and Ahklun Mountain Region Alaska. North American Fauna. vol 76, pp. 1–158.
- Ptaszyk J. (2004). Numbers, phenology and diet of the Waxwing Bombycilia garrulus in Poznan in 1966/1967–1995/1996. Notatki Ornitologiczne. vol 45, no 4. pp. 229–240.
- Rafajlovic A. (1972). Incidence of Waxwings Bombycilla-Garrulus in Subotica in 1958. Larus. vol 11, no 120.
- Scheifler HJ. (1972). Further Observations of Waxwings Bombycilla-Garrulus. Gefiederte Welt. vol 96, no 3.
- Stromar L. (1970). Incidence of the Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus on the Territory of Croatia During 1966–1967 and 1967–1968. Larus. vol 20, no 97.
- Voronov NP & Voronov LN. (1978). Morphometric Study of the Digestive System of the Waxwing Bombycilla-Garrulus Aves Bombycillidae. Vestnik Zoologii. vol 5, pp. 28–31.
|Wikispecies has information related to: Bombycilla garrulus|
- Cornell University Ornithological Lab page about the Bohemian Waxwing, including samples of its song
- USGS page about the Bohemian Waxwing
- Bohemian Waxwing videos, photos & sounds on the Internet Bird Collection
- Bohemian Waxwing, Environment Canada