The cedar waxwing has a number of distinctive elements that make it a popular subject for carvers.
The cedar waxwing gets its name from the wax-like “spangles” on the secondaries. Its mask and crest provide a couple more distinguishing characteristics.
A crested bird with a black mask, measuring between six and eight inches in length, the cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) has subtle blended browns and a yellow tail band at the tips of the tail feathers. The red wax-like appendages of the secondaries from which the bird gets part of its name are sometimes missing. The waxwing eats a lot of fruit, so the other half of its name comes from its propensity to consume the berries from cedar trees.