from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several birds of the genus Bombycilla, having crested heads, grayish-brown plumage, and waxy red tips on the wing feathers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of several songbirds of the genus Bombycilla, having crested heads, and red tips to the wings.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any one of several species of small birds of the genus Ampelis, in which some of the secondary quills are usually tipped with small horny ornaments resembling red sealing wax. The Bohemian waxwing (see under bohemian) and the cedar bird are examples. Called also waxbird.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An oscine passerine bird of the genus Ampelis (or Bombycilia), family Ampelidæ: so called because the secondary quills of the wings, and sometimes other feathers of the wings or tail, are tipped with small red horny appendages resembling sealing-wax.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. brown velvety-plumaged songbirds of the northern hemisphere having crested heads and red waxy wing tips
The name waxwing is due to the scarlet ornaments at the tips of the lesser flight feathers and some of the tail feathers, which resemble bits of red sealing wax, but which are really the bare, flattened ends of the feather shafts.
The name waxwing refers to the bright red bead-like tips of the secondary feathers on its wings, which look like drops of sealing wax but which several hundred years ago were seen as flames from hell carrying all manner of unspeakable epidemics.
Early AI researchers saw thinking as logical inference: if you know that birds can fly and are told that the waxwing is a bird, you can infer that waxwings can fly.
The waxwing is a sub-Arctic bird that breeds in coniferous forests throughout the most northern parts of Europe, Asia and western North America.
Local birdwatchers had been particularly interested in sightings of the strikingly marked waxwing.
This audience could tell a cedar waxwing from a black-billed cuckoo.
Instead they are linked with the waxwing's main winter diet of berries.
While we do consider ourselves very lucky about some things, the waxwing visits only last a couple of days in late winter and fall, but do happen every year.
I did see the waxwing story and have been scanning the skies for them here.
The cedar waxwing visit is a big deal here, it is only for a couple of days in the spring and fall.