Bird Photography – Waxwings Bombycillidae


Sometimes collective nouns can be quite silly and that is the case for the waxwing. I mean a grosbeak of waxwings? Frankly, ear-ful and museum are not much better names for a group of waxwings. I am kind of up in the air for a replacement name for these birds. Suggestions?

From Wikipedia

The waxwings form the genus Bombycilla of passerine birds. According to most authorities, this is the only genus placed in the family Bombycillidae.

Waxwings are characterised by soft silky plumage. (Bombycilla, the genus name, is Vieillot’s attempt at Latin for “silktail”, translating the German name Seidenschwänze.) They have unique red tips to some of the wing feathers where the shafts extend beyond the barbs; in the Bohemian and Cedar Waxwings, these tips look like sealing wax, and give the group its common name (Holloway 2003). The legs are short and strong, and the wings are pointed. The male and female have the same plumage. All three species have mainly brown plumage, a black line through the eye and black under the chin, a square-ended tail with a red or yellow tip, and a pointed crest. The bill, eyes, and feet are dark. Calls are high-pitched, buzzing or trilling monosyllables (Sibley 2000, MacKinnon and Phillipps 2000).

From My Portfolio of Waxwings

Clicking the image will take you to my portfolio where you can see all of my Waxwing images.

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