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Bombycillidae

Bombycillidae (hypocolius, silky flycatchers, waxwings; class Aves, order Passeriformes) A family of variable, soft-plumaged, mostly crested birds that inhabit forests, plains, and deserts, feeding on fruit and nesting in trees. The three species of Bombycilla (waxwings) are brown-grey birds with crests, and secondaries that have red, wax-like tips. The tail is tipped with yellow or red. They have short, stout bills, and short legs. Waxwings are gregarious in winter. Hypocolius ampelinus (hypocolius) is a blue-grey bird with a black mask, white-tipped black primaries, and a black-tipped tail. Its bill is slightly hooked, and its legs are short and strong. It inhabits open scrub with trees, feeds on berries and insects, and nests in trees and bushes. It occurs in southwestern Asia and is sometimes placed in a family of its own, Hypocolidae. There are five genera in the family, with eight species, although the silky flycatchers are sometimes placed in a separate family Ptilogonatidae. They are found in N. and Central America, Europe, and Asia.

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waxwings

waxwings See BOMBYCILLIDAE.

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Waxwings

Waxwings

The phainopepla

Waxwings are eight species of medium-sized, fruit-eating, perching birds found in northern Eurasia and North America that are included in the family Bombycillidae. Waxwings have a crest on the top of their head, and have soft, sleek, often shiny plumage. The secondary feathers often have a soft, wax-like appendage at the tip, from which the common name of these birds was derived.

Waxwings are largely fruit-eating birds, although they also eat insects, especially during the breeding season. These birds usually catch their insect prey by flycatching, which involves aerial sallies from an observation perch to catch insects on the wing.

Three species of waxwings are familiar to North Americans. The cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum ) breeds in a wide range of habitats throughout the

range of northern coniferous and broadleaf forests of Canada and the northern United States. The cedar waxwing winters in the southern United States and Central America.

The Bohemian waxwing (B. garrulus ) breeds in coniferous and mixed-wood forests and muskegs of northwestern North America, as well as in northern Eurasia, where it is known simply as the waxwing. However, during the non-breeding season the Bohemian waxwing aggregates into flocks, which forage widely for berries far to the south of the breeding range, and as far east as the Atlantic coast.

The phainopepla

Phainopepla nitens is a red-eyed, glossy-black bird that occurs in the southwestern United States and central Mexico. Females are ashy gray with whitish edges on all their wing feathers. The phainopepla is found in semi-arid scrub, and is rather more insectivorous than the waxwings. It also travels in small flocks during the non-breeding season.

The waxwings are rather irregular in both their breeding and wintering abundances. They sometimes occur in unusually large numbers outside of their usual range in some winters, probably as a result of poor berry crops in their normal wintering habitat. During such irruptive events of abundance, waxwings often occur in large flocks in cities, avidly feeding on berry-laden, urban trees and shrubs such as junipers and mountain-ash. These winter occurrences of flocks of Bohemian and cedar waxwings are unpredictable pleasures that are relished by bird watchers.

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Waxwings

Waxwings

Waxwings are medium-sized, fruit-eating, perching birds found in northern Eurasia and North America that
are included in the family Bombycillidae. Waxwings have a crest on the top of their head, and have soft, sleek, often shiny plumage. The secondary feathers often have a soft, wax-like appendage at the tip, from which the common name of these birds was derived.

Waxwings are largely fruit-eating birds, although they also eat insects , especially during the breeding season. These birds usually catch their insect prey by flycatching, which involves aerial sallies from an observation perch to catch insects on the wing.

The waxwing family includes eight species worldwide. Three species in this family are familiar to North Americans.

The cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) breeds in a wide range of habitats throughout the range of northern coniferous and broad leaf forests of Canada and the northern United States. The cedar waxwing winters in the southern United States and Central America.

The bohemian waxwing (B. garrulus) breeds in coniferous and mixedwood forests and muskegs of northwestern North America, as well as in northern Eurasia, where it is known simply as the waxwing. However, during the non-breeding season the bohemian waxwing aggregates into flocks, which forage widely for berries far to the south of the breeding range, and as far east as the Atlantic coast.


The Phainopepla

Phainopepla nitens is a red-eyed, glossy-black bird that occurs in the southwestern United States and central Mexico. The Phainopepla is found in semi-arid scrub, and is rather more insectivorous than the waxwings. The Phainopepla also travels in small flocks during the nonbreeding season.

The waxwings are rather irregular in both their breeding and wintering abundances. Waxwings sometimes occur in unusually large numbers outside of their usual range in some winters, probably as a result of poor berry crops in their normal wintering habitat . During such irruptive events of abundance, waxwings often occur in large flocks in cities, avidly feeding on berry-laden, urban trees and shrubs such as junipers and mountain-ash. These winter occurrences of flocks of bohemian and cedar waxwings are unpredictable pleasures that are relished by bird watchers.

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