Waxwings are named for the long glossy red tips on the secondary feather shafts in the middle of their wings which looks like the sealing wax used on old letters and envelopes. There are three species – Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) and Japanese waxwing (Bombycilla japonica). They are pinkish-brown and pale grey with distinctive smooth plumage in which many body feathers are not individually visible, a black and white eyestripe, a crest, a square-cut tail and pointed wings. Sometimes the family is extended to include related taxa that are more usually included in separate families: silky flycatchers, palmchats, and the Hawai'ian 'honeyeaters.
See also: Bohemian waxwing, Cedar waxwing, Silky flycatcher.