Bluethroat to Bronze-Wing

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

            The Bluethroat is the English name by which the beautiful Luscinia svecica of Linnaeus is now generally known.. The male is quite distinguishable from the female in these birds.  is Species. The male bluebird has a blue bib which us edged underbeath with successive black, white and rusty borders.

The Red-spotted Bluethroat, sports  a bright bay spot in the middle of its clear blue throat.  This bird breeds in Scandinavia, Northern Russia, and Siberia, and winters in Abyssinia and India, though rarely appears in the intermediate countries, to the wonder of all who have studied the mystery of the migration of birds  This bluethroat is a not unfrequent, though very irregular visitor to the UK.  There is also the White Spotted Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica cyanecula), with a white instead of a red gular spot, a more western form, ranging from Barbary to Germany and Holland.  This bluethroat also has appeared in England, but is quite a rare sight there.

Female bluethroats of all types normally possess a simple black crescent on a cream-colored throat and breast.  The Bluethroat is related to the NIGHTINGALE, both being in the genus Luscinia.

Picture of Boatbill
Picture of Boatbill

            The Boat-Billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) of most ornithologists, a native of Tropical America. It seems to be very similar to the Night HERON (Nycticorax) but with an exaggerated bill, so much widened as to suggest its English name of Boatbill, and its habits, so far as they are known, confirm the similarity. Both the Boatbill and the Night Heron are mainly nocturnal feeders, who eat small fish, crustaceans and insects.  Both also have a croaky type of call. The wonderful "Whalehead", also known as the Shoebill or Whale-headed STORK (Balaeniceps rex) is regarded by some authorities as closely related to the Boatbill, both birds being in the Ciconiiformes Order of scientific classification.

            In seamen's ornithology, Boatswain is a name applied to several kinds of birds, and was perhaps first given to some of the genus Stercorarius(SKUA), though also commonly used for the species of the TROPICBIRD (scientific genus Phaethon), the projecting middle feathers of the tail in each being generally likened to the marlinespike that is identified with the business of a ship's Boatswain, but probably the authoritative character assumed by both Skua and officer originally suggested the appellation.

            A common name applied to certain North-American birds of tbe genus Quiscalus, belonging to the Family Icteridae. (see GRACKLE and ICTERUS), from the power they have of holding the tail in the shape of a boat with the concavity uppermost.

Bobolink, Bob-Lincoln, and Boblink

Bob White
            A nickname of the Virginian QUAIL, aptly bestowed from the call-note of the male bird.


            The name by which the Great SKUA,  Stercorarius skua, is known in some of the Shetland Islands, its only British habitat.


Bower Bird

Brachial Artery
            See VASCULAR SYSTEM.

Brachial Plexus
            see NERVOUS SYSTEM.


Bramble Finch or Brambling
            The Bramble Finch or Brambling (from the Germanic Bramling), are names of one of the most beautiful of the UK's annual visitors, Fringilla montifringilla, which has its home in the birch-forests of Northern Europe and Asia, whence it yearly proceeds, often in flocks of thousands, to pass the winter in more southern countries. It is congeneric with the Chaffinch, but is still more brightly coloured, especially in summer, when the brown edges of the feathers being shed, it presents a rich combination of black, white, and orange.  Even in winter, however, its diversified plumage is sufficiently striking.

Brant or Brent
            These are words of doubtful etymology: the former spelling is most usually adopted by American, the latter by English authors, and in Britain the word GOOSE is generally added.

            See STERNUM.

Bristlebird or Bristle Bird
           The Bristlebird is the name given by the early Australian colonists to three species of the genus Sphenura of Lichtenstein, but which now form the Dasyornis genus.  These birds inhabit Australia, and have attained  the name Bristlebird  from the two or three pairs of strong recurved bristles which project laterally from the gape. They were formerly considered to belong to the Sylviidae family, but in the 19th Century, like many others, were referred (chiefly on account of their short wings) to the Timeliidae family by Mr. Sharpe (Cat. B. Br. Mus. vii. p. 104). In current 21st Century times their genus Dasyornis is now the sole genus within the Dasyornithidae family, this family being solely for the bristlebirds.

They mostly conceal themselves in thickets, especially in marshy places, flying very little, but running very quickly, and carrying the tail erect. The nest is built of dry grass, globular in form, and is of large size. There are three specis within the Dasyornis genus. The Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus), inhabits New South Wales, and the two others, the Western Bristlebird (Dasyornis longirostris) and the Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyornis broadbenti), are found in Western Australia and the interior of South Australia respectively. The Western Rufous Bristlebird, (Dasyornis broadbenti littoralis, this being a subspecies of the Rufous Bristlebird) is believed to have become extinct in the 20th Century.


            The word bronchi (adjective =  bronchial) is derived from the greek "bronkhos", meaning the windpipe. The thoracic end of the TRACHEA is divided into a right and a left bronchus.. Each bronchus enters the lung of its side and passes through its whole length as mesobronchium, from which go off about 10 secondary bronchi towards the surface of the LUNG.  In almost all birds - the exceptions being the Cathartidae, true Storks, and Steatornis - the bronchi are strengthened by cartilaginous semirings ; the ends of these rings point towards the median line, and are closed by the inner tympaniform membrane. The right and left membranes are connected with each other by an elastic band, called bronchidesmus. All the rings which partake of the formation of the pessulus of the trachea belong to the latter, the pessulus thus marking the beginning of the bronchi (see also TRACHEA and SYRINX).

            The name given in Australia to several species of PIGEON belonging to the genera Phaps, Geophaps, and Ocyphaps, from the lustrous coppery or bronze-like spots they display on their wings.

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