Glossary of Ornithology Terms B-C

Breeding Plumage- term usually referring to the colourful plumage which the males of many species acquire for the breeding season, usually for the purposes of attracting a female mate. In a few species, it is the females which may be more colourful during the breeding season.

Breeding Success- occurs when one or more young from a clutch of eggs survives to fledging.

Brood - a collective term referring to the young hatched from a single clutch of eggs.

Class- taxonomic category between phyla and orders. A class contains one or more orders, and belongs to a particular phylum. (e.g. Phylum Vertebrata, Class Aves, Order Passeriformes)

Colony- refers to a group of birds nesting together in close association, such as a pelican or gull colony.

Colour Phase- certain species may have two or more variations in their plumage, presumably under genetic control. For example, Snow Geese may exist in either the white or blue colour phases.

Courtship Dancing- usually elaborate displays, most often performed by the males of certain species in an attempt to attract a female mate.

Covert (s) -term given to body feathers which overlie the bases of the flight feathers on the wings and tail. Also applies to the feathers covering the bird’s ear region.

Crest- a tuft of elongated feathers on the head of some species, such as the Belted Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpecker, and Blue Jay. The feathers are held erect by the bird most of the time or are capable of being erected.

Crown- the hind region of the upper part of the head.
Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature

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