Glossary of Ornithology Terms M-P

Malar Region- or cheek, is the region on the side of the head from the base of the lower bill to the angle of the jaw.

Mustache- usually a colourful region running back from the base of the bill and below the eye, as seen in the Northern Flicker.

Order- a taxonomic group above the level of family but below that of class. Orders are composed of one or more families.

Ornithology- the science of birds.

Precocial- referred to as chicks, precocial birds have their eyes open at hatching, are covered with down, and leave the nest almost immediately after hatching to find food for themselves. Opposite of altricial.

Primaries- are the flight feathers of the wings which are attached to the manus, or the "hand" part of the wing. The number of primary feathers varies from 9 to 11, and are numbered from the innermost primary to the outermost.

Promiscuous- about 6 % of all bird species, such as most species of grouse, do not form pair bonds during the mating season. Rather they are said to be promiscuous, having indiscriminate, casual sexual relationships of brief duration. Most often involves the male mating with more than one female


Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature

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