Bird Glossary










Air Sac
A series of thin-walled sacs, typically eight or nine that in conjunction with the paired lungs comprise the bird's respiratory system.


Arboreal
A tree-dwelling bird.


Breastband
A dark band of feathers across the breast of a bird.


Brood
All young from a single clutch of eggs. Birds hatched at one time; offspring.


Call
A short instinctive vocalization.


Cygnet
A young swan.


Clutch
The total number of eggs laid during a single nesting period; some birds lay several clutches in a nesting season.


Conspecific
Birds that are members of the same species.


Congeners
Distinct bird species that are related to one another by being in the same genus.


Coverts
Small feathers that overlap the bases of larger feathers on the wings and tail.


Crest
Slightly longer feathers on the top of the head, when raised, form a peak.


Crown
The top of the head.


Eyebrow
A conspicuous stripe of color above, but not through, the eye.


Field mark
A characteristic of color, pattern, or structure useful in distinguishing a species in the field.


Flight Feathers
The largest feathers of the wings; called primaries and secondaries.


Flank
The side of the belly just below the wing.


Hood
A plumage pattern in which the head of a bird is all dark and contrasts with lighter feathers on the body.


Inner Wing
The portion of the wing closest to the body.


Molt
The process of shedding and replacing feather; usually occurs after breeding but before the autumn migration.


Morph
A regularly occurring color variation within a species that is not related to the sex, age, or seasonal plumage of the bird.


Nape
The back of the head and neck.


Plumage
The complete set of a bird's feathers at a certain time.


Resident
Remaining in one place all year; nonmigratory.


Riparian
Of or inhabiting the banks of rivers or streams.


Speculam
A colored patch on the inner wing of ducks.


Scapulars
A group of feathers along the side of the back and overlapping the folded wing.


Sympatric
Birds that inhabit the same range but remain distinct and separate species.


Tipping Up
Method of surface feeding by a duck, goose, or swan in which it raises its tail and dips its bill, head, and neck into the water.


Undertail coverts
The small feathers that cover the underside of the base of the tail.


Vent
The anal and reproductive opening.


Wattle
A fleshy bumpy area on the face of a bird; often hangs down, as in the wattle of a Wild Turkey.


Wing bar
A continuous lighter area at the tips of wing coverts.










"Bird Wonderland"

"Wonderland"


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