One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The hind wing of an insect, especially when it is normally hidden by a forewing.
- ‘The butterflies have tiger striped underwings and little black tails on their back wings.’
- ‘At last they find a huge moth with ‘great underwings of glowing crimson.’’
2The underside of a bird's wing.
- ‘And each performance ends in a final swoop and a flicker of white underwings at the moment of alighting.’
- ‘White underwing linings and some white at the wrist above are visible when the bird flies.’
- ‘In flight, the long, wedge-shaped tail and prominent white trailing edge of the wing are evident; the underwing usually appears darker than the upperwing.’
- ‘Many have paler underparts than upperparts and barred underwing and tail feathers, a patterning that may make them less visible to prey.’
- ‘The body coloration is typical of gull plumage from above, but both breeding and non-breeding adults have dark underwings with pale wingtips, which are distinctive in flight.’
- ‘They note that white plumage seen on the bird's back doesn't match the pattern of a pileated woodpecker, nor does the absence of black trailing edges on the underwings of the bird in the video.’
- ‘Dark-morph birds are very dark brown above and below, with lighter underwings.’
- ‘All plumages of Red-tailed Hawks have a darkish band on the leading edges of the inner underwings, known as the ‘patagial’ markings.’
- ‘But if you chance to see a vulture up close, you will notice that this iridescent black bird's underwings are a satiny gray.’
- ‘However, the hawk is larger and stockier, with clean white underwings and distinctive dark wrists and belly.’
- ‘It is mottled brown overall, with cinnamon underwings.’
- ‘They are mottled brown with cinnamon underwings that are distinctive in flight.’
- ‘In flight, they show gray and white underwings, solid gray upperwings, white rumps, and gray tails.’
- ‘The white underwings are especially distinctive in flight.’
- ‘The underwings are two-toned: silvery flight feathers with black wing-linings.’
- ‘Their bellies and underwings are white, and their heads and breasts are black.’
- ‘The underwings are white with a band of blue-gray.’
- ‘The underwing is white with a narrow band of gray.’
- ‘Their underwings are a dusky grayish to brownish-white.’
- ‘A combination of prominent creamy-white eyestripe and rusty-red flanks and underwings makes the redwing unmistakable.’
3usually with modifier A moth with drab forewings and brightly colored hind wings, typically yellow or red with a black terminal band.
Several genera in the family Noctuidae
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