Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Dictionary G-L

From Opus

Revision as of 21:37, 15 January 2011 by KeithDickinson-10828 (Talk | contribs)

This section is aimed at explaining the bird and biology specific vocabulary you are likely to meet in other threads in Birdforum.

This page is divided into four sections: Dictionary A-F, Dictionary G-L, Dictionary M-S and Dictionary T-Z.

Contents

G

Gape: see Heads.

Genus, genera: a genus is the taxonomic level above species, and contains one or often more species that are each others closest relatives.

Gloger's rule: a zoogeographic rule stating that animals living in a warmer, more humid environment tends to be darker than those living in cooler, dryer areas.

Gonys: see Beaks. Related expressions are gonys spot, gonys angle = gondyeal angle also explained in the link.

Gular: This relates to the neck area and in birds is usually relating to either a bare patch or sac of tissue connecting the lower mandible to the neck. The male Magnificent Frigatebird shows the latter to superb effect during courtship displays.

Gynandromorph: an individual bird which shows male characteristics on one side and female characteristics on the other side, normally explained from them having both ovary and testis present in the body. The pattern changes abruptly at the mid line[1].

References G

  1. Birdforum thread discussing gynandromorph birds

H

Hallux: the name for the innermost toe (in humans the big toe) which in most birds is the one pointing backwards. see Legs and Feet

Heterodactyl: The arrangement of toes in the trogons, they have the inner two toes pointing backwards whilst the outer two toes point forward. see Legs and Feet

Homoplasy: is used to describe that two species are identical in some trait not because of common ancestry but because of convergent evolution or random genetic events. As example of convergent evolution, compare the mouth of some small, insect eating marsupials in Australia with shrews in Europe; they are fairly much identical because they are selected to efficiently solve the same problem, catching and eating insects.

Hybrid, Hybridization: a hybrid is the offspring of a mating between parents belonging to two different species or subspecies. A well known example is the mule, which is a hybrid between horse and donkey. Hybridization between distantly related species will most often result in infertile offspring, while more closely related species might result in offspring that seems fully fertile but still has selective disadvantages meaning that in the big picture, the two forms does stay distinct. On the other hand, hybridization between subspecies by definition would result in fertile offspring; if there is reduced fertility or selective disadvantage, then the two groups might be on the way to becoming full species. Examples of bird hybrids found reasonably frequently would be hybrids between ducks in genus Anas or in genus Aythya or geese including Canada Goose x geese of either genus Branta or Anser.

I

Immature (there are two usages of this term):

  • 1: strictly speaking, this includes all plumages after juvenile and before full adult plumage is attained2. The number of immature plumages can therefore vary widely between groups of species.
  • 2: many authors do not really distinguish between juvenile/juvenal and immature1.

Iridescence: see Diffraction at D

Iris: see Heads

References I

  1. Erritzoe et al. 2007. The Ornithologist's Dictionary. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. ISBN 84-96553-43-4
  2. Pyle, Peter 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds, Part 1. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, California. ISBN 0-9618940-2-4

J

Juvenile: (synonymous with Juvenal) the first plumage with real feathers, reached by molt from the downy plumage of a nestling or pullus. Strictly, this is a plumage that will be followed by either the first adult plumage or by the plumage of an immature; however, there seems to be great confusion, and many will use juvenile and immature as synonymous. The juvenile feathers often are different than the feathers of later plumages: firstly, they often push out the downs that they replace, and the down may remain attached to the tip of the juvenile feather for a while; secondly, the body feathers often are more fluffy and downy than later feathers; and thirdly, tail feathers in passerines often are more pointed then tail feathers of later plumages2. Erritzoe et al.1 proposes a change in usage so that a juvenile bird is any "young bird that is out of its nest and able to care for itself".

References J

  1. Erritzoe et al. 2007. The Ornithologist's Dictionary. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain. ISBN 84-96553-43-4
  2. Pyle, Peter 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds, Part 1. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, California. ISBN 0-9618940-2-4

K

L

Lek, lekking: lekking is the behavior where males display in groups hoping that a female will choose one of the displaying males to mate with. Lek can therefore mean such a group, but it can also mean the place where such behavior takes place (colloquially called mating arena). Ruff and Manakins are examples of birds known for their lekking, but lekking happens in several additional groups.

Leucism, leucistic: best used about an animal that has reduced pigment everywhere except bare parts, but where the normal pattern is still present in "shadow" form, or where the plumage is completely (and for the species abnormally) white but where bare parts are normally colored. (Some authorities also include "Partial albinism" within this term). Usage of this term in birds is complicated by the fact that bird have not one but two independent types of pigment based on melanin (usually further divided into eumelanin (black or grey), phaeomelanin (tan to brown) and erythromelanin (chestnut-reds)) and carotenoid (can be further divided into carotenes (orangey), xanthophylls (mainly yellows), and carotenoic acids (red)) molecules. Production of each main class and often of each type can be individually influenced by genetic changes, sometimes resulting in birds where one pigment is normal and another is missing or too strong. Some authorities[1] therefore recommend using schizochroism with prefixes describing which pigment is changed and in which direction. See also "Albinism" and Melanism.

Lore: (more often used in plural, lores) see Heads

References L

  1. Birdforum thread discussing color variations


This page is divided into four sections: Dictionary A-F, Dictionary G-L, Dictionary M-S and Dictionary T-Z.

Advertisement


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

Page generated in 0.22563505 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 22:10.