No breeding occurs in the UK; it is only ever a winter visitor. A typical brood is quite small, creating around just twenty six birds for every square mile. Despite this, Waxwings are incredibly long-lived, and European varieties and live upwards of thirteen years. When Waxwings do appear over winter, they often migrate in what is known as an “irruption”, better described as a sudden and fast invasion over October and November. The primary reason for this is because a population of Waxwings in a given year in northern Europe may be too large for the available food, which can be affected further by a failed harvest; hence, a sudden migration south to the UK.