Glossary of Ornithology Terms S-W

Secondaries- are the flight feathers of the wing arising from the ulna, or "forearm" region of the wing. Secondary feathers are nearer the bird’s body than the primary feathers, and are numbered from the outermost feather to the innermost.

Siblicide- type of behaviour in which a young bird kills its sibling in the nest. The victim is most often the younger, smaller sibling of a clutch, and parents often do nothing to prevent its death. This behaviour is common in some species of raptors, for example.

Species- a kind of organism. It is usually defined in ornithology as an interbreeding group of birds that is reproductively isolated from other such groups.

Speculum- term given to the patch of brightly coloured or metallic secondary feathers of the wings, found in most surface-feeding, or dabbling ducks.

Wing Bars- most common in some passerine species, they are the lighter coloured tips of the upper wing coverts which appear as narrow bars in the folded wings.

Wingspread- the distance from tip to tip of the longest primary feathers of the outstretched wings.

Wrist- region of the forewing which points forward; also known as the bend of the wing.
Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature

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