One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A crested flycatcher, Phainopepla nitens (family Bombycillidae or Ptilogonatidae), of the south-western United States and north-western Mexico, which has glossy black plumage with white wing patches (in the male) or brownish-grey plumage (in the female) and red eyes. Also (in form Phainopepla): the monotypic genus comprising this bird.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Spencer Baird (1823–1887), zoologist and scientific administrator. From scientific Latin Phainopepla, genus name from ancient Greek ϕαινο- + πέπλα robes.
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