What is a Whirligig:
A whirligig generally combines the functions of a weather-vane and a windmill. To be more specific, it’s basically a weather-vane with a windmill on one side to help it catch the wind better. Many experts believe the whirligig is very old, dating back as far as the 1100's. Although whirligigs are made to have a practical purpose in showing wind direction, they’ve become more associated with their use in yard ornamentation and as children’s toys. Many have artistic or amusing designs so that the windmill function drives mechanical movements in wooden figures shaped like people or animals.
Sometimes a whirligig is made so that the figure's arms are the windmills, but they can also be a bit more complex than that. Some are made to harness the power of the wind and use it to drive complex mechanical movements. For example, a whirligig could be made with a figure sitting on a bicycle. The windmill would capture the wind power and cause the figure to pedal the bike, possibly even making the wheels turn.