The red waxy tips (secretions plumage} on the Cedar Waxwings, could be to a way to tell about how old the waxwing is. The young waxwings could have from 0 to 5 waxy red tips. As the waxwing age they will grow more red waxy tips. The older waxwings are the ones that have more than nine they say.
When they fan their feathers out you can see how many red tips that the bird has.This one is only showing three on this one side. When the bird fans it feathers out it could have more.
The older waxwings are higher up on the social ladder. They also will start nesting sooner than the younger waxwings and will they will raise more babies.