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7 1/2 -8 1/2" (19-22 cm). A sleek, gray-brown, crested bird. Similar to Cedar Waxwing but larger, grayer, and with conspicuous white wing patches and most importantly rusty (not white) undertail coverts.
Old World Range
A partial migrant with many birds remaining in breeding range through the winter but makes irregular invasions further south and south-west. Normal winter range extends throughout Scandinavia, Germany and Netherlands in the west and south to the Black Sea in the east. During invasion years variable numbers reach Britain, mainly on the east coast from Shetland to Kent, usually in October-November and staying until February-March, rarely later although summering pairs have occurred.
New World Range
There are 3 subspecies:
Breeds in the taiga, usually in pine or spruce, sometimes mixed with birch, rarely in mountains but found in foothills and lowlands. In autumn seeks berry-bearing trees and bushes and occurs in gardens, parks and along hedgerows on farmland and on roadsides. In Britain preferred berries are hawthorn and cotoneaster.
They nest in a pine tree and the nests are lined with fine grass, moss, and down. 4 to 6 pale blue with black spots and lines eggs are laid. They are incubated for 14 days; the young fledge about 13 to 15 days later.
The diet includes berries supplemented by insects.
High-pitched, lisping seeee, harsher and more grating than call of Cedar Waxwing.
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