Waxwing Poetic

I can’t help but wax poetic when it comes to one of my favorite birds: the bohemian waxwing.

Named “bohemian” for their nomadic movements, these northern birds travel in flocks like gypsies from one fruited tree to the next — never staying anywhere long enough to officially establish breeding territories. The “waxwing” part of their name comes from the wax-like red-orange tips found at the end of some of their wing feathers. See a photo of the wax tips.

Bohemian waxwings are rare to Vermont, spending their summers in northern Canada and Alaska, and occasionally making their way to Vermont during the winter months. They look similar to the cedar waxwing, which are quite common in Vermont, but bohemians are larger and have even more beautiful feather coloration (in my opinion, anyway).

This particular waxwing — pictured above — flew into a window, suffering eye and ear damage. We’re currently treating the bird with homeopathics and an anti-inflammatory to combat the swelling and pain. He’s eating well, gobbling down chopped grapes, Maine blueberries and mealworms aplenty. We have high hopes this beauty will return the wild.

Leave a Comment