The two waxwings found in Saskatchewan are widespread members of a small family (Bombycillidae) of three species found in the Northern Hemisphere. These small (15-20 cm) fruit-eating songbirds have distinctive elegant gray and brown plumage, with a small crest and black mask.

Both the cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) and the Bohemian waxwing (B. garrulus) are noticeable as they gather in large noisy flocks. The cedar waxwing nests throughout the southern half of the province, and some overwinter. The main winter waxwing is the wandering Bohemian, seen in mobile flocks which move from one fruit tree to another as they strip the fruit. They are particularly attracted to mountain ash, found as ornamentals in the townsites. In the summer the species migrates further north to nest, including in the northern boreal forest of Saskatchewan.

Diane Secoy

Further Reading

Alsop, Fred J., III. 2002. Birds of Canada. New York: Dorling Kindersley.