Japanese Waxwing

Japanese Waxwing

Bombycilla japonica

Near Threatened

Known for its elegant and distinctive markings, the Japanese Waxwing is a captivating bird that graces the forests and parks of Eastern Asia. With a charming trill and a penchant for berries, this migratory songbird brings a dash of color and melody as it journeys from Siberia to Japan each winter.

Appearance and Identification

Males and females have similar plumage

Primary Color


Secondary Colors

Yellow, Red

Secondary Colors (female)

Secondary Colors (juvenile)

Secondary Colors (seasonal)

Wing Color


Beak Type


Beak Color


Leg Color


Distinctive Markings

Red tip on the wings, yellow tip on the tail

Tail Description

Short and square, with a yellow tip

Size Metrics

15cm to 18cm


33cm to 36cm


54g to 64g



Click on an image below to see the full-size version

Vocalization and Sounds

Primary Calls

High-pitched trills and whistles

Call Description

A series of short, high-pitched whistles

Alarm Calls

Rapid, high-pitched trills

Behavior and Social Structure

Daily Activities

Active during the day, foraging for food in the morning and evening

Social Habits

Travels in flocks

Territorial Behavior

Not territorial

Migratory Patterns

Migrates from Siberia to Japan in the winter

Interaction with Other Species

Interacts with other bird species in feeding areas


Primary Diet

Berries, Insects

Feeding Habits

Feeds on berries and insects from trees

Feeding Times

Throughout the day, peaking at dawn and dusk

Prey Capture Method

Catching insects in flight

Diet Variations

Diet varies with season and location

Special Dietary Needs (if any)

None known


Nesting Location

In trees or shrubs

Nest Construction

Nests are cup-shaped, made from twigs and grass

Breeding Season

Spring to early summer

Number of clutches (per breeding season)

One or two

Egg Appearance

Blue-green with dark spots

Egg Size

Approximately 2cm x 3cm

Clutch Characteristics

Usually 5 eggs, but ranges between 4-6

Incubation Period

Around 14 days

Fledgling Period

Approximately 2-3 weeks

Parental Care

Female incubates the eggs

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Eastern Asia, migrates to Japan in the winter

Habitat Description

Forests, orchards, and urban parks

Elevation Range

Lowland to mountainous regions

Migration Patterns

Migrates from Siberia to Japan in the winter


Temperate Forest, Boreal Forest

Climate zones

Temperate, Subarctic

Distribution Map

Please note, this range and distribution map is a high-level overview, and doesn't break down into specific regions and areas of the countries.

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