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. 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. The adults moult between August and November, but may suspend their moult and continue after migration. Calls are high-pitched, buzzing or trilling monosyllables.