Glossary of Terms
Breeding Season A specific season of the year in which a species will usually breed to ensure that offspring are produced only at a certain time of the year. Usually spring or autumn/fall.
Brood parasites are birds that rely on others to raise their young. Eggs are deposited into the nest of a host species, who then hatches and raises the young – often to the detriment of their own eggs.
All the eggs laid in a nest by a pair of birds at a single time. When hatched, that collection of offspring form a “clutch” of young.
A group of three or more pairs of birds of the same species who share a single aviary.
Housing three of more pairs of a single species in one aviary, often to minimize space consumption or encourage cooperative rearing of young.
A dance-like ritual, display or chase that a bird (typically the male) will use to attract a mate of the opposite sex.
A condition in which an egg becomes stuck in the hen’s vent, usually caused by out-of-season breeding, cold weather, or poor nutrition. Can be fatal if not treated immediately.
“Fledging” occurs when a chick leaves the nest for the first time.
A young bird that has only recently fledged. It is typically still dependent on its parents for food and protection.
A chick that has only recently hatched from an egg.
Insects. Usually refers to mealworms, termites, small cockroaches, and/or maggots.
A name given to a cage or aviary that contains multiple different species of bird. Finches are most commonly housed in this manner.
The process by which a bird sheds its feathers and replaces them with new ones. Often occurs seasonally, yearly, or every few years.
A commonly used worming and parasite control chemical.
A feather color variation that has developed through selective breeding. Some are naturally occurring.
The act of looking inside a bird’s nest to observe eggs or young. Can cause some birds to abandon the nest.
A material, typically grass, that is provided to birds for the purpose of nest construction.
A bird that possesses no color mutation and contains no mutation genes. Often the offspring of recently wild-caught birds, but sometimes achieved through careful breeding and meticulous genealogical record-keeping.
Determining the gender of a bird using visual or behavioral cues. Some species require a DNA test to accurately sex.
A bird that is visually identical to wild birds of the same species. Often used interchangeably with ‘pure normal.’
The process of administering preventative medicine to eradicate parasitic worms. Typically done seasonally or annually.