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Bird Glossary of Terms







 

Bird Dictionary Definition Information


Alula : Three feathers springing from the base of the primaries..

Alular quill coverts : Feathers overlying the bases of alula.

Alular quills : Three feathers springing from the base of the primaries.

Auricular : Area around ear opening.

Axillary : Ventral area between the body and the wing.

Back : Dorsal part of the bird.

Belly : Ventral part of the bird.

Bill : Beak.

Body : Main mass of the bird as distinguished from its appendages.

Breast : Front part of the chest.

Breast band : Stripe across the breast.

Breast spot : Small, differently colored area on the breast.

Cap : Top of the crown.

Cere : Fleshy area between the beak and face.

Cheek : Area bounded by lore, eye, auricular, and lower mandible.

Chest : Front part of the body.

Chin : Part of the face below the bill.

Cloaca : The single opening in birds used for both reproduction and excrement.

Cloacal kiss : Term used to describe copulation.

Collar : Rear portion of crown.

Comb : Colored area over eye found in males.

Commissure : Base of the bill where the mandibles join.

Crest : Tuft on the head.

Crissum : Feathers covering underside of base of tail.

Crown : Top of the head.

Culmen : Upper ridge on bill.

Dihedral : Wings of a flying bird held at an angle appearing to form a "V."

Ear patch : Area around ear opening.

Ears : Rounded, earlike areas on the face.

Eye : Organ of sight.

Eye line : Line of feathers in front of and behind the eye.

Eye ring : Pale-colored feathers encircling the eye.

Eyebrow : Line of feathers above the eye.

Eyelid : Skin-fold covering the eye.

Face : Front part of the head.

Facial discs : Rounded, earlike areas on the face.

Feet : Terminal part of the leg.

Flank : Area between the belly and the wings, more posterior.

Flank stripe : Band on the flanks.

Flight feathers : Primaries and secondaries.

Forehead : Part of the face above the eyes.

Foreneck : Front part of the neck.

Frontal shield : Extension of the bill onto the forehead.

Gape : Base of the bill where the mandibles join.

Gonys : Lowermost ridge on lower mandible.

Gorget : Iridescent throat feathers on a hummingbird.

Greater secondary coverts : Feathers overlying bases of secondaries.

Gular region : Between the chin and the foreneck.

Head : Upper part of the body.

Head stripes : Bold lines on the head.

Hindhead : Rear portion of crown.

Hindneck : Back of the neck.

Horns : Paired contour feathers arising from head.

Inner primaries : Group of primaries closest to the body.

Inner secondaries : Group of secondaries closest to the body.

Inner wing : Shoulder, secondaries and secondary coverts.

Iris : Colored part of eye.

Jugulum : Front part of the neck.

Knee : Joint in the middle part of the leg.

Leading edge of wing : Front edge of the wing in flight.

Leg : Limb used for supporting the bird.

Lesser secondary coverts : Feathers overlying bases of median secondary coverts.

Lore : Area between the eye and the bill.

Lower mandible : Lower part of the bill.

Lower mandibular tomia : Cutting edges of lower mandible.

Malar stripe : Area at the sides of the chin.

Mandibular ramus : Prong-like, posterior projection from bill.

Mantle : Upper surface of the wings and the back.

Marginal coverts : Feathers overlying bases of median secondary coverts.

Median line : Stripe through the crown.

Median secondary coverts : Feathers overlying bases of greater secondary coverts.

Mustache : Area at the sides of the chin.

Mouth : Cavity bounded by the bill.

Nape : Back of the neck.

Nasal canthus : Anterior corner of eye.

Nasal fossa : Depression in which nostril is located.

Neck : Part connecting the head to the main part of the body.

Neck patch : Inflatable sac on neck used by males in courtship display.

Nictitating membrane : Translucent, vertical fold under the eye lid.

Nostril : External naris.

NOcciput : Rear portion of crown.

Operculum : Swollen structure in pigeons overarching the nostril.

Outer primaries : Group of primaries farthest from the body.

Outer secondaries : Group of secondaries farthest from the body.

Outer tail feathers : Part of the tail farthest from the center.

Outer wing : Alula and primaries.

Patagial mark : Dark patch on leading edge of underside of inner wing.

Pelagic : Living on the open ocean rather than coastal or inland bodies of water

Pinnae : Projecting feathers.

Plumes : Large, conspicuous, showy, feathers.

Primaries : Flight feathers attached to the "hand."

Primary coverts : Feathers protecting and covering the primaries.

Primary numbering : System for assigning a number to each primary.

Pupil : Contractile aperture in iris.

Rectrices : Conspicuous feathers forming posterior margin of tail.

Remiges : See primaries and secondaries.

Rictal bristles : Stiffened feathers near bill.

Rictus : Base of the bill where the mandibles join.

Ruffs : Fringe of feathers growing on the neck.

Rump : Area between the uppertail coverts and the back.

Scapulars : Area of feathers between the back and the wings.

Secondaries : Flight feathers attached to the "elbow."

Secondary coverts : Feathers protecting and covering the secondaries.

Shoulder : Feathers overlying bases of median secondary coverts.

Side : Area between the belly and the wing.

Side of neck : Area of neck between foreneck and hindneck.

Spectacle : Eye ring and supraloral line together.

Speculum : Highly colored area on secondaries of several ducks.

Subterminal band : Stripe before tip of tail.

Superciliary line : Line of feathers above the eye.

Supercilium : Line of feathers above the eye.

Supraloral line : Line of feathers above the lore.

Tail : Feathers extending from the rear of the bird.

Tail coverts : Under and uppertail coverts.

Tail numbering : System for assigning a number to each tail feather.

Tarsus : Part of the leg between the knee and the foot.

Temporal canthus : Posterior corner of eye.

Terminal band : Stripe at tip of tail.

Tertiaries : Feathers adjoining the secondaries.

Throatv : Front part of the neck.

Throat patch : Front part of the neck.

Tibia : Part of the leg above the knee.

Toe : Digit attached to the feet.

Trailing edge of wing : Rear edge of the wing in flight.

Underparts : Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail coverts : Feathers covering underside of base of tail.

Underwing : Underside of wing.

Upper mandible : Upper part of the bill.

Upper mandibular tomia : Cutting edges of upper mandible.

Upperparts : Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.

Uppertail coverts : Feathers covering upperside of base of tail.

Upperwing : Upperside of wing.

Vent : Opening of the cloaca or anus.

Whisker : Area at the sides of the chin.

Wing : Moveable feathered appendage.

Wing bars : Pale tips of greater and median secondary coverts.

Wing coverts : Primary and secondary coverts.

Wing lining : Median, lesser and marginal coverts on underwing.

Wing stripe : Paler area at base of flight feathers.

Wingpit : Ventral area between the body and the wing.





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