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Glossary of Ornithology - Birds Terms
beginning with letter H
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halcyon Tweet Definition of halcyon Like Definition of halcyon on Facebook
noun
  1. in classical legends, a bird said to nest on the sea and to calm the waters to make this possible.
    • undated " w:John Dryden, John Dryden, (source?)
    • :Amidst our arms as quiet you shall be As halcyons brooding on a winter sea.
      1. (poetic) a kingfisher
    • c.1880 " w:Ambrose Bierce, Ambrose Bierce, s:On a Mountain, On a Mountain
    • :And, by the way, during those halcyon days (the was there, too, chattering above every creek, as he is all over the world) we fought another battle.
    • (zoology) A tropical kingfisher of the genus Halcyon, such as the sacred kingfisher Halcyon sancta of Australia.
adjective
  1. Pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher
  2. calm, Calm, undisturbed, peaceful, serene.
hallux Tweet Definition of hallux Like Definition of hallux on Facebook
noun
  1. (Anatomy): the big toe
    • 1995: His left foor winced. The nail, ill-cut, / Assailed its neighbour toe with a shrewd nip. " Anthony Burgess, Byrne
hammerhead Tweet Definition of hammerhead Like Definition of hammerhead on Facebook
noun (pluralhammerheads)
  1. (Zoology) A shark of the genus Sphyrna or Zygna, having the eyes set on projections from the sides of the head, which gives it a hammer shape. The Sphyrna zygna is found in the North Atlantic. Called also hammer fish, and balance fish.
  2. (Zoology) A fresh-water fish; the stone-roller in the minnow family Cyprinidae.
  3. (Zoology) An African fruit bat Hypsignathus monstrosus -- so called from its large blunt nozzle.
harrier Tweet Definition of harrier Like Definition of harrier on Facebook
noun (pluralharriers)
  1. Any of several bird of prey, birds of prey of the subfamily Circinae which fly low over meadows and marshes and hunt small mammals or birds.
  2. A runner, specifically, a cross country runner.
hawfinch Tweet Definition of hawfinch Like Definition of hawfinch on Facebook
noun (pluralhawfinches)
  1. A large Eurasian finch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes, with a thick bill.
hawk Tweet Definition of hawk Like Definition of hawk on Facebook
noun
  1. A diurnal predatory bird of the family Accipitridae.
It is illegal to hunt hawks or other raptors in many parts of the world.
  1. (politics) An advocate of aggressive political positions.
The hawks controlled the senate, so the Minister of War had few problems with his budget.
verb
  1. (transitive) To hunt with a hawk.
hemipode Tweet Definition of hemipode Like Definition of hemipode on Facebook
noun (rfc-level, Noun at L4+ not in L3 POS section)
  1. any of a small family of birds containing 15 species, all but one of which are in the genus Turnix
hen Tweet Definition of hen Like Definition of hen on Facebook
noun
  1. A female bird.
  2. (specifically) A female chicken, especially one kept for its eggs.
  3. (slang) A woman.
hermit Tweet Definition of hermit Like Definition of hermit on Facebook
noun , plural hermits
  1. A religious recluse; someone who lives alone for religious reasons; an eremite.
  2. A recluse; someone who lives alone and shuns human companionship.
heron Tweet Definition of heron Like Definition of heron on Facebook
noun
  1. A long-legged, long-necked wading bird of the family Ardeidae.
herring gull Tweet Definition of herring gull Like Definition of herring gull on Facebook
noun
  1. A common, large seagull, Larus argentatus, having a white and gray body and a yellow bill with a red spot.
hirundine Tweet Definition of hirundine Like Definition of hirundine on Facebook
noun
  1. a member of the swallow family
  • 1973: ""and so, gentlemen, I believe I may confidently state that the hibernation of swallows, and of all other hirundines, is conclusively proved," said Mr Lamb, with a defiant glare at his audience. " Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise
adjective
  1. pertaining to a swallow
hoopoe Tweet Definition of hoopoe Like Definition of hoopoe on Facebook
noun (pluralhoopoes)
  1. An Old World bird, Upupa epops, known for its distinctive plumage, fanlike crest, and slender bill.
(seeCites)      
hornbill Tweet Definition of hornbill Like Definition of hornbill on Facebook
noun
  1. Any of various birds of the family Bucerotidae, with bills resembling a cow's horn. Many species have a casque above the bill, and many imprison their young in a tree.
horned screamer Tweet Definition of horned screamer Like Definition of horned screamer on Facebook
noun
  1. Anhima cornuta, a South American bird, member of the Anhimidae family, with black upperparts, head and breast and white speckles on the crown, throat and wing coverts.
hummingbird Tweet Definition of hummingbird Like Definition of hummingbird on Facebook
noun
  1. Any of various small American birds in the family Trochilidae that have the ability to hover.

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