Waxwings in Ireland
their striking plumage and large crest, Waxwings are one of the
most distinctive and attractive Irish birds. They visit Ireland
in the Winter coming from Northern Europe. These beautiful birds
are about the size of a Starling and in flight they are quite similar
with their short, triangular shaped wings. Waxwing plumage is largely
pink-beige with a distinctive crest. They have a black mask and
black bib. Their tails are tipped with yellow and there are yellow
and white markings on the wings; specifically, yellow along the
length of the primary feathers and white at the base of the coverts.
The secondary wing feathers have red waxy fingers. The rump
is grey and the vent is red. Their legs and bill are black. Juvenile
waxwings have smaller crests, do not have a black bib and don't
have the waxy red fingers.
Name for Waxwing
Irish word for waxwing is Síodeiteach.
are natives of northern Europe where they breed in the summer and
feed on insects. In the winter thousands of them visit Ireland and
the UK to feed on berries. They are acrobatic birds while feeding
behaving somewhat like Tits.
they will eat rowan and hawthorn berries in town and city gardens.
You may also be able to attract Waxwings into your garden by hanging
apple pieces from branches.
can be seen near or around supermarkets and retail parks because
many car parks are now bordered with rowan or hawthorn bushes and
there are plenty of people to notice these approachable birds.
do not breed in Ireland or the UK. Nests are built in fir trees
or scrub. The nest is cup-shaped and is built by both the male and
female using twigs, grass and moss.
eggs are a pale blue colour and are smooth with black and grey speckles
. The eggs are approximately 24 mm long by 17 mm. The female waxwing
incubates the eggs however the chicks are fed by both the hen and
18cm Wingspan: 34cm Weight:
A high-pitched bell-like sirrr
Coniferous forest, birch woodland
Summer, insects especially midges & mosquitos, winter,
fruit and plant buds from trees
From 1 year
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
5 years est.
Status in Ireland: GREEN
Range in Ireland
a winter visitor the Waxwing is generally confined to Northern and
eastern edges of Ireland.