All Words Glossary

Glossary of Ornithology - Birds Terms
beginning with letter B
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bald eagle Tweet Definition of bald eagle Like Definition of bald eagle on Facebook
  1. (birds) A species of eagle native to North America and notable for the white plumage on its head.
barb Tweet Definition of barb Like Definition of barb on Facebook
  1. The point that stands backward in an arrow, fishhook, etc., to prevent it from being easily extracted. Hence: Anything which stands out with a sharp point obliquely or crosswise to something else.
Having two barbs or points. Ascham.
  1. A beard, or that which resembles it, or grows in the place of it.
  2. (Armor) (Corrupt) Armor for a horse, corrupted from bard.
  • 1786: The defensive armor with the horses of the ancient knights ... These are frequently, though improperly, stiled barbs. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 29.
The barbel, so called by reason of his barbs, or wattles in his mouth. Walton.
  1. (zoology) One of the side branches of a feather, which collectively constitute the vane.
  2. (zoology) Several species of freshwater fish of the Cyprinid family.
  3. (zoology) A southern name for the kingfishes of the eastern and southeastern coasts of the United States; -- also improperly called whiting.
  4. (botany) A hair or bristle ending in a double hook.
  5. (zoology) A blackish or dun variety of the pigeon, originally brought from Barbary.
  6. (obsolete) A muffler, worn by nuns and mourners.
  7. Paps, or little projections, of the mucous membrane, which mark the opening of the submaxillary glands under the tongue in horses and cattle. The name is mostly applied when the barbs are inflamed and swollen. Written also barbel and barble.
  8. (obsolete) A bit for a horse.
verbto barb (barbed, barbing)
  1. To furnish with barbs, or with that which will hold or hurt like barbs, as an arrow, fishhook, spear, etc.
But rattling storm of arrows barbed with fire. Milton.
  1. (Armor) (Corrupt) To cover a horse in armor, corrupted from bard.
  • 1592: And now, in stead of mounting barbed steeds To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber... — William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, Scene I, line 10.
    1. (obsolete) To shave or dress the beard of.
    2. (obsolete) To clip; to mow.
barn owl Tweet Definition of barn owl Like Definition of barn owl on Facebook
  1. An owl of the genus Tyto, often having a white face and commonly found in barns and other farm buildings.
barrel Tweet Definition of barrel Like Definition of barrel on Facebook
  1. (countable) A round vessel or cask, of greater length than breadth, and bulging in the middle, made of staves bound with hoops, and having flat ends or heads. Sometimes applied to a similar cylindrical container made of metal, usually called a drum.
a cracker
  1. The quantity which constitutes a full barrel. This varies for different articles and also in different places for the same article, being regulated by custom or by law. A barrel of wine is 31 1/2 gallons; a barrel of flour is 196 pounds; of beer 31 gallons; of ale 32 gallons.
  • 1882: Again, by 28 Hen. VIII, cap. 14, it is re-enacted that the tun of wine should contain 252 gallons, a butt of Malmsey 126 gallons, a pipe 126 gallons, a tercian or puncheon 84 gallons, a hogshead 63 gallons, a tierce 41 gallons, a barrel 31.5 gallons, a rundlet 18.5 gallons. — James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 205.
1882: 23 Hen. VIII, cap. 4... The barrel of beer is to hold 36 gallons, the kilderkin 18 gallons the firkin 9. But the barrel, kilderkin, and firkin of ale are to contain 32, 16, and 8 gallons. — James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 205.
  1. A solid drum, or a hollow cylinder or case;
''the of a windlass; the barrel of a watch, within which the spring is coiled.
  1. A metallic tube, as of a gun, from which a projectile is discharged.
  2. (obsolete) A jar. Obs. 1 Kings xvii. 12.
  3. (archaic) A tube.
  4. (zoology) The hollow basal part of a feather.
  5. (music) The part of a clarinet which connects the mouthpiece and upper joint, and looks rather like a barrel (1).
  6. (context, idiomatic, surfing) A wave that breaks with a hollow compartment.
  7. (context, US, specifically, _, New England) A waste receptacle.
Throw it away in the trash .
  1. The ribs and belly of a horse or pony.
verb (barrel, l, ed)
  1. to move quickly or in an uncontrolled manner
He came barrelling around the corner and I almost hit him.
beak Tweet Definition of beak Like Definition of beak on Facebook
  1. A rigid structure projecting from the front of a bird's face, used for pecking, grooming and for eating food.
  2. A similar structure forming the jaws of an octopus.
  3. (nautical) The metal point fixed on the bows of a war galley, used as a ram.
  4. (slang) A justice of-peace, or magistrate. Also a judge or chairman who presides in court.
He's up before the beak again tomorrow.
I clapp'd my peepers full of tears, and so the old beak set me free; I began to weep, and the judge set me free.
  1. (slang) The human nose, especially one that is large and pointed.
bearded vulture Tweet Definition of bearded vulture Like Definition of bearded vulture on Facebook
  1. The lammergeyer.
bee-eater Tweet Definition of bee-eater Like Definition of bee-eater on Facebook
  1. any of various brightly-coloured, insectivorous, near-passerine birds in the family Meropidae, especially the European bee-eater
Bill Tweet Definition of Bill Like Definition of Bill on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, male), diminutive of William.
  2. (context, UK, slang) A nickname for the British constabulary. Often called "The Bill" or "Old Bill"
  3. (context, US, slang) One Hundred Dollars.
bird Tweet Definition of bird Like Definition of bird on Facebook
noun (tearoom)
  1. The vulgar hand gesture in which the middle finger is extended.
    • 2003, The Beach House, James Patterson—Then she raised both hands above her shoulders and flipped him the bird with each one.
  1. To observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment.
bird of paradise Tweet Definition of bird of paradise Like Definition of bird of paradise on Facebook
noun (pl=birds of paradise)
  1. (zoology) Any of various passerine birds of the family Paradisaeidae native to Oceania. In many of the species the breeding plumage of the males is brightly coloured.
  2. (botany): A showy tropical flower of the genus Strelitzia, native to Madagascar.
bird of prey Tweet Definition of bird of prey Like Definition of bird of prey on Facebook
  1. A carnivorous bird that hunts for its food, especially one that preys on vertebrates.
bird watcher Tweet Definition of bird watcher Like Definition of bird watcher on Facebook
  1. alternative spelling of birdwatcher
bishop Tweet Definition of bishop Like Definition of bishop on Facebook
  1. A high ranking official in the Catholic church who governs a diocese, or a similar official in other denominations and religions.
  2. (context, Chess) A piece that may be moved only diagonally.
  3. (slang) penis (see bash the bishop).
black-bellied plover Tweet Definition of black-bellied plover Like Definition of black-bellied plover on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, Grey Plover)
  1. An arctic bird, Pluvialis squatarola, also known as the grey plover.
blackbird Tweet Definition of blackbird Like Definition of blackbird on Facebook
  1. A common thrush, Turdus merula, found in woods and gardens over much of Eurasia, and introduced elsewhere.
  2. A variety of New World birds of the family Icteridae.
blackcap Tweet Definition of blackcap Like Definition of blackcap on Facebook
noun (pluralblackcaps)
  1. A small Old World warbler, Sylvia atricapilla, which is mainly grey with a black crown.
  2. whitebark raspberry, Whitebark raspberry.
black grouse Tweet Definition of black grouse Like Definition of black grouse on Facebook
  1. A large, black bird with a lyre-shaped tail, Tetrao tetrix.
blackhead Tweet Definition of blackhead Like Definition of blackhead on Facebook
  1. (medicine) A comedo, a skin blemish, a type of acne vulgaris, where a pore becomes clogged with a dark, hard, cheesey keratin-filled substance forming a hard black "head" on the skin's surface.
black-headed gull Tweet Definition of black-headed gull Like Definition of black-headed gull on Facebook
  1. a small gull which breeds in much of Europe and Asia, and also in coastal eastern Canada.
black vulture Tweet Definition of black vulture Like Definition of black vulture on Facebook
  1. an American vulture, Coragyps atratus, with black plumage
  2. a north African and Eurasian vulture, Aegypius monachus
bluebird Tweet Definition of bluebird Like Definition of bluebird on Facebook
  1. Any of various North American birds of the genus Sialia in the thrush family. Their plumage is blue or blue and red.
blue jay Tweet Definition of blue jay Like Definition of blue jay on Facebook
  1. A species of North American jay with blue feathering from the top of its head to midway down its back.
blue tit Tweet Definition of blue tit Like Definition of blue tit on Facebook
  1. a small bird of the tit family Paridae, with an azure blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye and encircling the white cheeks to the chin.
bowerbird Tweet Definition of bowerbird Like Definition of bowerbird on Facebook
  1. Alternative spelling of bower bird
brambling Tweet Definition of brambling Like Definition of brambling on Facebook
noun (pluralbramblings)
  1. A finch, Fringilla montifringilla of northern Eurasia; the male has a black head in summer and an orange breast with white belly and a long white rump.
brant Tweet Definition of brant Like Definition of brant on Facebook
noun (plural brants or collectively )
  1. Any of several wild goose, wild geese, of the genus Branta, that breed in the Arctic, but especially the brent goose, Branta bernicla.
  1. (context, dialectal) steep, Steep, precipitous.
brevirostrate Tweet Definition of brevirostrate Like Definition of brevirostrate on Facebook
  1. Short-beaked; having a short bill.
brolga Tweet Definition of brolga Like Definition of brolga on Facebook
  1. An Australian crane
brood Tweet Definition of brood Like Definition of brood on Facebook
  1. (uncountable) What comes out of an egg.
  2. The young of certain animals, especially a group of young birds or fowl hatched at one time and cared for by the same mother.
  3. The children in one family.
  1. To keep an egg warm to make it hatch.
  2. To dwell upon moodily and at length.
  3. to protect
He sat brooding about the upcoming battle, fearing the outcome.
broody Tweet Definition of broody Like Definition of broody on Facebook
noun (brood, ies)
  1. (Poultry) A female bird which is in the condition to incubate eggs; a broody hen, duck, etc.
There are six broodies in that coop.
adjective (brood, ier, more)
  1. (Of birds) to sit persistently and protectively on a nest, in order to hatch eggs (eg, 'a broody hen').
  2. In general, any creature or person interested in raising young.
budgerigar Tweet Definition of budgerigar Like Definition of budgerigar on Facebook
  1. A small species of parakeet native to Australia and often kept as pets.
budgie Tweet Definition of budgie Like Definition of budgie on Facebook
noun (pluralbudgies)
  1. (colloquial) A budgerigar.
bullbat Tweet Definition of bullbat Like Definition of bullbat on Facebook
  1. New world bird also known as common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor).
Bullbats "peened" overhead and dived on roaring wings.
"Hal Borland, When the Legends Die, 1963
bullfinch Tweet Definition of bullfinch Like Definition of bullfinch on Facebook
noun (pluralbullfinches)
  1. Any of various Old World finches in the genus Pyrrhula that have thick bills.
bunting Tweet Definition of bunting Like Definition of bunting on Facebook
  1. (nautical) A thin cloth of woven wool from which flags are made; it is light enough to spread in a gentle wind but resistant to fraying in a strong wind.
  2. Flags considered as a group.
  3. Strips of material used as festive decoration, especially in the colours of the national flag.
  4. Any of various songbirds of the family Emberizidae having short bills and brown or gray plumage.
bustard Tweet Definition of bustard Like Definition of bustard on Facebook
  1. Any of various large terrestrial birds of the family Otididae that inhabit dry open country and steppes in the Old World.
butcherbird Tweet Definition of butcherbird Like Definition of butcherbird on Facebook
  1. (South Africa) The Fiscal shrike
buzzard Tweet Definition of buzzard Like Definition of buzzard on Facebook
  1. In the Old World, any bird of prey of the genus Buteo, having broad wings and a broad tail.
  2. In North America, a general term for scavenging birds such as the American black vulture, also called American black buzzard (Coragyps atratus), and the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).
(rfc-level, Translations at L3+)      

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