Waxwing Invasion!!

Posted by Suzi Day on 28/11/2012

Direct from Scandinavia, the walled City of York welcomes flocks of Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulous). Up to several thousand Waxwings have arrived this autumn and can be clearly identified by the bright red tips on their plumage, square-ended yellow tail feathers and a black band running across their eyes.

Image courtesy of Yuri Timofeyev

Natural England staff and volunteers from the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve (NNR) came to nearby York to ring Waxwings around the walls of York (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2012/221112.aspx) . This was a great opportunity to gather scientific evidence and tell the watching public more about waxwings and how bird ringing projects work.

Waxwings are regular winter migrants from northern Scandinavia and Russia, and tend to turn up in large numbers when berries are in short supply back home. They are particularly fond of rowan, guelder rose and hawthorn and can often be found in town centres, where there are ornamental trees – and supermarket car parks with berry hedges!