Tag Archives: Bohemian Waxwing

Birds at Christmas

Silkitoppa – Bohemian Waxwing – Bombycilla garrulus

The garden has been teeming with birds this Christmas. Some very rare visitors that we don’t see every year. Keeping them fed has been one of the Christmas chores and a happy one.

Three Bohemian Waxwings have decorated the garden with their stay. Their beautiful colours are hard to match.

Auðnutittlingur – Redpoll – Carduelis flammea

Redpolls stay with us most of the year and in winter they are never far away. There have been at least 20 – 25 every day.

Gráþröstur – Fieldfare – Turdus pilaris

Fieldfares very seldom grant us the favour of a visit at Christmas. Now we have had four of them most days. They are quite dominating and find it hard to share food with the others.

Krossnefur – Common Crossbill / Red Crossbill – Loxia curvirostra

The Crossbills are peaceful birds and their lovely colours make them stand out now when everything is covered in snow. Five of them have come here to feed daily and mingle with the other visitors.

Bjargdúfa – Rock dove – Columba livia

Now Rock Doves are becoming more and more common here in the garden and they make good use of the sunflower seeds that we put out. They are here in the dozens and we are sad to admit that we sometimes wish they would go somewhere else once in a while.

Other birds in the garden are Redwings, Blackbirds, Snow Buntings, Starlings and one very Christmassy Robin.

Bohemian Waxwing visiting

Silkitoppa – Bohemian Waxwing – Bombycilla garrulus

We had heard of a Waxwing being seen in Selfoss and when one appeared in our garden on February 1st we had actually been waiting for it. The Waxwing has now been with us for about five weeks much to our delight. This beautiful bird is in competition with the other birds that occupy our garden, i.e. Starlings, Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds, and the Waxwing does not give in easily.  Apples is the item on the menu that they all crave, as well as the sunflower seeds, so there is sometimes a lot of commotion.

The Waxwing is a vagrant in Iceland and this one probably came to to the country in the autumn from Scandinavia.  Waxwings have been known to breed on and off in the last few summers in North and Northeast Iceland.

Christmas guests

Silkitoppa – Bohemian Waxwing – Bombycilla garrulus

Not only did we have our precious family here for Christmas but also some very beautiful guests in the garden.  Two Bohemian Waxwings added to the festivities, as well as of course our usual Redpolls, Blackbirds, Redwings, Crossbills and Starlings. A lone Snow Bunting and a Brambling also enjoyed the Christmas feed we put out.

Merry Christmas and peace to everyone – in the hope that we can make our World a good place to live.

Another Bohemian Waxwing

Silkitoppa – Bohemian Waxwing – Bombycilla garrulus

This magnificent Bohemian Waxwing has been in the garden for over a week now. It is older than the one from our blog in November which can be seen by the red tips on the wings and the yellow tips on the tail. The colour derives from colour pigments found in the fruit the Waxwings eat and these get bigger as the bird gets older.

Bohemian Waxwings are different from many other birds in that they do not claim territories and they don’t sing but have high-pitched calls. Having the Waxwing in the garden and seeing it from our windows is like having an ornament on display. 

Bohemian Waxwing

Silkitoppa – Bohemian Waxwing – Bombycilla garrulus

There is a Bohemian Waxwing in our garden!  We have not had one since 2013 and we are happy. These magnificent birds do not go unnoticed as they are so different from all Icelandic birds. Bohemian Waxwings are vagrants in Iceland that probably come from Northern Eurasia.

Bohemian Waxwings breed in the northern forests of Eurasia and North America. They live on fruits and berries in the winter but insects in the summer. When food is scarce they take to travelling, often in groups. Sometimes groups from Eurasia visit Western Europe in search of food.

In the last two weeks it seems that groups have come to Iceland, mostly in the North. This is the only Bohemian Waxwing having been reported here in South Iceland this autumn.

Fighting for food




Now it is the time of year when we can start looking forward to seeing the Waxwing. They sometimes come in huge flocks from Scandinavia or even all the way east from Siberia. This autumn a few have been spotted in the northern part of the country and the east.

We have apples for them in the garden and as you can see from the photoes they quite like them.  –Now we just have to wait patiently and see if they will pay us a visit.

The photoes are taken in January 2011 and do not need explaining. During this time there were groups of  Waxwings in Selfoss and we had 6 -10 in our garden most days and sometimes the birds fought for the apples.