Alaska January 06, 2020
Thousands Of Bohemian Waxwings Invade The City Of Anchorage In Alaska Every Winter And It’s A Sight To Be Seen
Every winter in Anchorage thousands of tiny birds take to the sky in large, impressive flocks. The Bohemian Waxwings are a beautiful bird that travels in large flocks and loves to dine on Mountain Ash berries in Anchorage, Alaska. Keep your eyes peeled as you move about the city to see these birds dancing in the sky!
Bohemian Waxings got their name from their propensity to roam.
They frequently reside outside of the cities and appear in Anchorage in late October or early November. Although in recent years they've arrived even later, sometimes not until December.
You will find them flying together to both roost and eat.
During the winter, these birds congregate together in large groups numbering in the hundreds or sometimes thousands, in either trees or bushes.
They descend on Anchorage each year for a couple of weeks.
Anchorage's record year for visiting Waxwings was the winter of 2009-2010, when 22,245 Bohemian waxwings were recorded. They landed in yards and parks all across the city, eating their fill!
Mountain Ash berries are one of their favorite foods, and is always a first choice when it's available.
If Mountain Ash berries aren't available, they will eat crab apples, elderberries, and crowberries. Each Waxwing can eat large amount of berries, sometimes even eating several hundred in a day! That's more than double its own weight.
These birds have a fantastic liver to process the huge amount of sugar they intake in a single sitting.
Occasionally however, you will find one of them slightly intoxicated, unable to keep up with the sugar conversion their tiny little bodies need to perform. In fact, a group in the Yukon sets up "drunk tanks" where the birds can sleep off the effects of the ethyl alcohol the fermenting berries can produce.
They are tiny, beautiful little birds, with a crest on their head and grayish bodies.
Their song is high and gentle, and many people enjoy the song of the birds as they sing in chorus while they flit from tree to tree. They are magic to behold as they dive through the neighborhoods in Anchorage, clearing out the Mountain Ash berries where they find them.
Waxwings travel long distances each year, which helps disperse the seeds that they eat.
Not much is known about where they go and how they live the rest of the year, but Anchorage citizens love seeing them each year. You can also see these lovely birds all the way up through Fairbanks, descending wherever they find delicious berries!
Have you seen any Bohemian Waxings around Anchorage? What did you think when you saw them? Have you seen them yet this year? Let us know in the comments below!
If you want to spot more beautiful birds here in Alaska,
The Abandoned Naval Base Hiding On An Alaskan Island Is A Birder’s Paradise!
Address: Anchorage, AK, USA