Bohemian Waxwings are the very northern cousins of the better known Cedar Waxwings. Both are ‘irruptive’- that is, they appear irregularly as they follow insect and fruit food sources. They breed in parts of Alaska and far northwest Canada during the summer then usually move to more southern parts of Canada and parts of the northwestern U.S. along the border with Canada.
Bohemian Waxwings differ in an obvious way from Cedar Waxwings by having reddish undertail coverts (feathers on the underside close to the tail). While Cedar Wawings have yellowish bellies, that area is grayish on Bohemian Waxwings like most of their plumage. And Bohemian Waxwings have white and yellow stripes on their wings, visible when their wings are closed. Both of these species have distinctive black masks across their faces and yellow tips on their tails (looks like they dipped their tails in a paint can).
Both Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings are big fruit eaters and can often be found on junipers, Russian Olives and similar fruit producing trees and shrubs. And they both also eat insects. Most are pleased to see them during irruptions when these Bohemian Waxwings come further south into western states as far as southern California and some very northern parts of the Mid-West and Northeastern states.
Although Cedar Waxwings come around where I live in south central Colorado fairly often, Bohemian Waxwings are rare visitors so I am always happy to hear they are in the area.
Have you seen Bohemian Waxwings or had them feed on fruiting trees in your yard?