- one of the tail feathers of a bird controlling direction during flight.
Origin of rectrix
1605–15; < Latin rēctrīx, feminine of rēctor rector
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rectrices
The tertiaries and rectrices are tipped with pale rufous grey.Argentine Ornithology, Volume I (of 2)
P. L. Sclater
The outer two rectrices with terminal white blotches of variable extent on the inner webs.
Tail pale clove-brown, the inner webs of the rectrices lemon-yellow, the outer edged with olive-yellow.
Wings and tail dull black, edged with ashy or olive-gray; two wing bands white; the outer three rectrices largely white.
Quill feathers of the wing (remiges) and tail (rectrices); the former are attached to the hand and forearm.The New Gresham Encyclopedia
- any of the large stiff feathers of a bird's tail, used in controlling the direction of flight
C17: from Late Latin, feminine of rector governor, rector