Cedar Waxwing vs. Bohemian Waxwing

Identification Keys and Tips

South Dakota Birds and Birding

Cedar Waxwing   Bohemian Waxwing
Bombycilla cedrorum   Bombycilla garrulus

Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum

 

Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus

Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings are fairly easy to distinguish if a good view of the bird is available.   Structurally, the two species are very similar, but plumage differences are distinctive.  In South Dakota, the Cedar Waxwing is by far the most common of the two species, with Bohemian Waxwings only found in the winter.  It's worth scanning any flock of Cedar Waxwings in the winter to see if any Bohemian's are present.  If they are seen side by side, differences in the two species are generally quite apparent.
Length: 7.25 inches   Length: 8.25 inches
Wingspan: 12 inches Wingspan: 14.5 inches
Body: Warmer, brownish upperparts, head, and breast Body: Grayish upperparts
Belly: Pale yellowish belly Belly: Gray belly
Undertail Coverts: White undertail coverts Undertail Coverts: Chestnut undertail coverts
Wings: Lack white or yellowish spots Wings: White tips on wing feathers, yellow on primaries
South Dakota Status: Common year-round bird throughout South Dakota, although nomadic and sporadic at any one spot. South Dakota Status: Irregular winter visitor to South Dakota, most common in the Black Hills and the West.

 

Cedar Waxwing

 

Bohemian Waxwing

Additional Photos Additional Photos
Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum   Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus    
Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum        
Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum        

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