Reproductive biology

Waxwings are socially monogamous and the same is believed of silky flycatchers, though their habits are less well known.

The breeding season of waxwings is one of the latest of North American birds, with eggs laid from early June through August. Adults tend to pair with similar-aged birds, and pairs of older birds nest earlier and raise more young than younger birds. Copulation in waxwings is preceded by courtship-hopping, which often involves passing a small item such as an insect or flower petal between male and female, and touching the bills together which results in a clicking noise. All bom-bycillids make a small, cup-shaped nest, usually at a strong fork in a tree. The female does most nest building in the waxwings, while the reverse is true for the phainopepla. Clutch sizes range from four to six in waxwings, from two to four in silky flycatchers. In both groups the young hatch naked and blind and are fed crushed berries and insects by both parents. The breeding biology of the gray hypocolius is not well known.

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