Waxwing in Little Thetford
This rare winter visitor from Scandinavia was spotted by Gill Norman recently in Little Thetford. Breeding in Northern European pine forests, this beautiful plump bird, with yellow tips to its wings, migrates south in winter when breeding grounds become over-populated. They feed on berries, particularly hawthorn, supplemented by cotoneaster and rose.
The Bohemian Waxwing, Latin name of Bombycilla garrulus, was first described by Linnaeus in 1758. It is not a threatened species, being listed as of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), although our visitor is very rare in the UK; the RSPB reports that less than 100 individuals winter on the east coast.
Waxwings do not mind feeding close to humans. The RSPB suggests that if we see such birds, it will encourage us to help other migrant species which all have a tough time finding food in our cold weather.
Article by John McCullough