Coracomorphae to Crest

Bird Dictionary

Get more interesting bird information and facts 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 name given by 19th century biologist Professor Huxley for the large group of DESMOGNATHOUS birds - incomparably the largest of those that now exist, and for the most part equivalent to the PASSERES of Linnaeus and Cuvier, and wholly to the VOLUCRES of Sundevall (Proc. Zool. Soc. 1867, pp. 468-472).


            A bird so named and described by Aldrovandus, as occuring in Italy.  However it has never, so far as is known, been seen since, and is apparently fictitious.

            See Chatterer.


         A common name of the PUFFIN, from the likeness of its bill to the coulter of a plough.



Cowry bird
            The Fingilla punctulata of Linnaeus, the Amadina or Munia punctulata of 19th Century writers.  From what I have been able to discover, I believe that this bird is what is today called the the Scaly-breasted Munia, and also known as the Spice Finch or Nutmeg Mannikin, whose modern latin scientific name is Lonchura punctulata.  It was apparently first made known by Edwards (N. H. Birds, i. page 40), who illustrated it from an example which he was told had come from the East Indies, where it "was called a Gowry or Cowry Bird, they being sold for a small shell apiece, called a Gowry." It is a common cage-bird and is found throughout India, Ceylon and Burma.

Crab Plover
            The Crab Plover is a curious bird of wide range, frequenting the east coast of Africa from the Red Sea to Natal, as well as the northern and western shores of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, and many of the intervening islands.  It was described and illustrated by Paykull in 1805 (K. Vet.-Acad. N. Handl. xxvi. pages 182-190, plate viii), from a specimen bought by him at Amsterdam, and said to have come from the East Indies, under the name of Dromas ardeola, which it has since generally borne.  It closely resembles the Avocet in general coloration and in its webbed toes, while its bill is as hard and trenchant as the Oyster-Catcher, though in a different form. It has an unusual habit of breeding in burrows in sand-hills.

            A name of the PINTAIL, (Anas acuta).

            Generally with a prefix, as Corn-Crake, this is a common name of a bird formerly commonly known as the Land-RAIL.  The suffix Crake is often used for others of the Rallidae family in which the bill is comparatively short.


           A word latinized from thegreek kranion meaning a skull, the Cranium in birds is anatomically applied to the bony and cartilaginous parts of the skull without the jaws and the palato-pterygo-quadrate bones, and therefore practically equivalent to those parts which enclose the cranial cavity and the three principal sense-organs (see SKELETON).

           Equating to the Dutch word Kruiper, Swedish Krypare, and Norsk Kryber,the term Creeper is sometimes employed by ornithologists in a very vague sense.  Provincially it is very frequently used for the NUTHATCH.  Chiefly however the Creeper signifies the Certhidae family of birds, which is more accurately known as TREE-CREEPER.

            Feathery crests seem to be entirely ornamental, favourite objects of mating and pairing selection, and therefore mostly developed in the male gender ; they are generally erectile by the aid of cutaneous and subcutaneous muscles, notably by the musculus cucullaris. Horny crests, often supported by swollen cancellous outgrowths of the maxillary, nasal, and frontal bones (as in Hornbills and Cassowaries), have been described in connection with the bill. Very peculiar are the entirely horny, slender and erectile outgrowths on the forehead of the Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta); and the similar erectile, long process of Bell Birds, which is partly covered with very small feathers. The soft crest or comb of many Phasianidae consists, like the wattles of other birds, entirely of the bare skin, and, being very rich in nerves and blood-vessels, is, as swelling organs, erectile in a different sense.  Prominent ridges of bones, serving then for the attachment of powerful muscles are likewise called" crests", for example the crista sterni.

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