Glossary of Ornithology Terms A-B

Altricial- referred to as nestlings, altricial birds are either naked or have very sparse down at hatching. Usually have their eyes closed at hatching, are fed by their parents for some period of time, and may stay in the nest for an extended period after hatching. Opposite of precocial.

Artificial Breeding Structures- any man-made structure designed to serve as a nesting receptacle for birds, such as bird houses, nest boxes, nest tunnels, etc.

Barred- term referring to a pattern of colouration in which the plumage has alternating dark and light stripes, such as the barred upperparts of the Northern Flicker.

Bill- or beak, is the bony modification of the bird’s skull, used for picking up food and nesting material, and for preening its feathers. The bill therefore acts as both lips and teeth, neither of which are found in birds. It also acts as a "hand", as many objects are picked up with the bill.
Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature

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