Waxwing Bird is a gorgeous bird, roughly the size of a Starling although plumper, thicker-necked and more compact. The plumage overall is a pinky grey-brown, with a greyer rump and chestnut vent, and a band of yellow on the tail tip, broadest on the male. Waxwing Bird has a distinctive soft crest, a black patch on the lores extending behind the eye, a white spot at the bill base and a black throat. The wings of the male are strikingly patterned with white bands on tho primary covort and secondary tips, the latter having little red waxy appendages that give the bird its name. The primaries have sharp white crescents on the very tips, and yellow tips on the outer webs forming a bold yellow line on the closed wing These features are duller and reduced on the female.
Waxwing Bird is a winter visitor to Britain and irregular in occurrence, some years seeing large invasions but other years very few. Typically in flocks, they can be found wherever their favourite winter diet of berries is available, favouring Rowan and other Sorbus species plus a variety of introduced berry-bearing trees and bushes. They can appear in hedgerows, parks, gardens and street trees. In summer they breed in boreal mature coniferous forest rich in Usnea lichen, feeding on insects and often engaging in flycatching sallies from the tops of tall trees.
The call of Waxwing Bird is a distinctive silvery trilling "srrrrrrrrrr", often given in half-second bursts although frequently for longer, at a rate of about 22 notes per second. Most regularly encountered in our region in winter flocks, this trilling can be continuous when many birds are calling and is given most emphatically just prior to flight. The song is a slow and halting combination of trilling phrases and harsh raucous sounds, such as "srrrrrrr sirrrrrr chark chark chi-chark srrrrrrr srrrrrrr", etc.