Irruptive Bohemians


Perhaps three or four dozen Bohemian Waxwings graced the skies at one time. I tried to capture a flight shot, but only succeeded in capturing two in a tree.

The Bohemian Waxwings is perhaps the ultimate example of an irruptive bird. It lives in the north, but in some years, it travels in large numbers to the south in search of food.  This is such such a winter.

Two Bohemian Waxwings, out of a large flock, rest in a tree.

This detail of one of the waxwings shows the red, waxy tips on some of their wing feathers. The colour comes from carotenoid pigments found in the fruit waxwings eat.


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8 Responses to Irruptive Bohemians

  1. Gail Frampton says:

    Again beautiful photos!!

  2. Ed says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Alistair. Here’s hoping for a healthy and happier 2022 🙂

  3. Trevor Goward says:

    Notice the “hair-straight-back, wild-eyed” look of these birds, as though still a bit out of breath from their recent southward journey.

    I’m guessing they hurried so as to join you and everybody else in your household for a festive holiday season. Here’s wishing all of you the same.

    Take good care, Alistair, and thanks once again for sharing to all these wondrous windows on the living world. For myself at least, you’ve been a real godsend down the years.

  4. Karen Pidcock says:

    Interesting as always, to learn about the fruit colouring the wings! The Waxwings always look like they’ve been sculptured out of wood, so sleek and smooth they are! Thanks, Alistair, and hope you’re recovering, strengthening from your health challenge! Best holiday greetings to you and your family.

  5. Stephen Wells says:

    Terrific photos! So excited they’re here. I used to see them routinely in and around Anchorage. They loved to flock to my mountain ash tree and gorge on the berries. Thanks for the great visuals!

  6. Marylee Banyard says:

    What beautiful birds! I love the flush on their cheeks, and the incredible painted feathers. In these hard times your postings bring joy and delight. Thank you so much for all, and peace, happiness and all good things for you and the family this Christmas and for next year.

  7. Della C Fenkner says:

    This bird speaks to me of serenity. The females make the quietest, most
    calm mothers. Once had an eye-level nest in our English hawthorn and was
    allowed to watch from a respectful distance.
    Best Christmas wishes…joy, peace and good health.

  8. Gary Munro says:

    Alistair, thank you so much for sharing your amazing photography and knowledge throughout the years. My appreciation for the natural world which surrounds us continues to grow as a result. Your photos are second to none!

    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022.

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