Size:  7.25”

Plumage/Description:  A striking bird not easily confused with any other species that occurs in this area.  Male and female plumage similar.  Distinguishing features include a black mask through the eyes, a crest, and red ‘waxy’ tips on the wings, and yellow ‘waxy’ tips on the tail are all diagnostic.

Habitat:  Residential areas, Pinyon/Juniper, Riparian/Deciduous

Time of year:  Winter, Spring

Relative Abundance:  Uncommon in winter, more common during migration, particularly in spring.  Unpredictable–nomadic in behavior.

Behavior:  Usually occurs in flocks.  They typically vocalize in flight sothey are often heard before they are seen.  Fly quickly, in a tight formation.  Like Western Bluebirds, will frequent bird baths as a flock, coming to the water in large numbers at the same time.  Typically seen in berry producing trees or shrubs where they will consume large quantities of berries.

Diet:  Berries, fruit, buds, blossoms, insects

Similar species:  Bohemian Waxwing

Best Sites:  Residential settings,  Watson Woods.