Anisodactyli to Ateal

Bird Dictionary

Get more interesting bird facts and information at The Wonder of Birds or check out more from our bird dictionary:

Aasvogel to Albino

Alectorides to Amazon

Ambiens to Ani

Anisodactyli to Ateal

Auk to Axilla

Babbler to Barley Bird

Barwing to Bengali

Berghaan to Blackbird

Blackcap to Bluecap

Bluethroat to Bronze Wing

Brubru to Buzzard

Caeca to Carr Goose

Cashew Bird to Charadriomorphae

Chat to Churn Owl

Circulation to Cob

Cobblers-Awl to Coracoid

Coracomorphae to Crest

Crocker to Cypselomorphae

Dabchick to Devling

Dhayal to Dollarbird

            Vieillot's name, in 1816 (Analyse, page 29), for the second tribe of his second Order, comprehending all the Passeres of Linnaeus and such of the latter's Picae who did not have two toes pointing forward and two behind. By some later authors the name was restricted to the genera which are not Zygodactyli and are yet placed among the Scansores.  In modern times anisodactylous birds are loosely defined as those who have three toes forward and one behind.

            The true ankle-joint is a Mammalian feature, being the articulation of the tibia with the astragalus, and therefore a tibio-tarsal joint. In Birds the so-called ankle-joint is an intertarsal joint, because the proximal tarsal bones, of which the astragalus is one, are fused with the end of the tibia, and the distal tarsal are fused with the metatarsal bones (see Skeleton).

            The second of the two subclasses, the other being called Homalogonatae, into which Garrod at one time divided Birds, according as they possessed an Ambiens muscle or not (Proc. Zool, Soc. 1874, page 116 to 118). In the Homalogonatous or "typically-kneed" birds "the ambiens runs in the tendon of the knee", though there are some of them in which it is absent ; but "there cannot be any Anomalogonatous birds in which it is present".

            The third Order of the Class Aves according to the system of Linnaeus, comprising all the Web-footed Birds known to him except Phoenicopterus (Flamingo) and Recurvirostra (Avocet).  If the term be used in the present day, it must be limited to the Geese and their allies.

Ant Thrush and Antbirds

Aorta (adj. aortic)
            The principal Artery from which arise the blood-vessels supplying the trunk, hind limbs, and viscera below or behind the heart (see vascular system).

            See Kiwi.

            See Fossil Birds.

            The Dutch for Eagle, but used in by 19th century colonists of South Africa for the Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier.

Argala (Hindu Hargila)
            Said by Yule to be the khla  of Aelian - a name for the Adjutant.

Argus or Argus-Pheasant
            The name originally applied in ornithology to the extraordinary and beautiful birds of the Malay Peninsula, Siam, and Borneo, which are not distantly related to the Peacock.  The name was also  used by English sportsmen in old colonial India for the species of the genus Tragopan, which are supposed to have more affinity to the true Pheasants. In each case the ocellated plumage has suggested the allusion to the well-known personage in classical mythology.

            A genus of true Passerine birds founded by Vieillot.  The genus indicates the Wood-Swallows or Swallow-Shrikes of some ornithologists, these being birds which are considered by many to be the nearest neighbours of the Hirundinidae (Swallow), making some approach to them in their long wings, and habit of catching insects in continuous flights.  However they  form a separate Family Artamidae, possessing patches of Powder-Down.  Some 15 species have been described, more than half of them being found in Australia, while at least one inhabits India.

Artery (adj. arterial)
            Arteries are the vessels through which the blood leaves the heart; no matter if this blood be arterial or venous, as, for instance, is that which flows through the pulmonary arteries (see Vascular System).

Ateal, Atteile or Attile
            A word, presumably a bird's name, occurring with variations of spelling in many old Scottish records (as, for example, in 1600, Act. Jac. VI. cap. 23), and apparently used in Orkney for some kind of Duck so lately as 1848 according to Baikie and Heddle (Hist. Nat. Gread. p. 79), who, possibly by mistake, apply it to the Pochard. The same was done in 1886 by Mr. Thomas Edmondston (Etymolog. Glossary of the Shetland and Orkney Dialect) who associated it with the old Norsk Tjaldr, which he called "Turdus marinus," but is properly the Oyster-Catcher. Of unknown etymology, it may be connected with the Scandinavian Atteling-And or Atling, which again may be cognate with Taling, the Dutch for Teal.

Previous... Ambiens to Ani Next... Auk to Axilla

Home to the Wonder of Birds

This page ©