Bird Glossary | Bird Species Info & Care


Aviary: Large cages that allow birds to fly inside the enclosure.

Acrylic bird cage: Cages made out of durable acrylic material.

African Grey cage: A large bird cage that is approximately 48”H x 48”L x 36”D.

Aviculture: The practice of raising, breeding and keeping birds.

Adoption: When someone takes a needy or abandoned bird as their own.

Avitaminosis: Diseases caused by a vitamin deficiency.

Allo-feeding: When birds feed one another.

Allo-preening: When birds groom or clean each other’s feathers.

Bird cages: Stainless steel or glass enclosures, designed to contain birds.

Bird room: A room dedicated exclusively to bird cages, toys, playstands and other avian accessories.

Cloaca: The opening at the base of the tail that allows excretory and reproductive functions to take place.

Conure cages: A cage designed for conure parrots. Generally 36”H x 36”L x 24”D.

Custom cages: A cage that is designed specifically for an individual bird.

Decorative bird cages: Cages made out of solid wood frames and glass or acrylic panels. Designed to compliment additional household furnishings.

Down: Small, fluffy feathers designed to keep a bird warm. These are usually hidden underneath larger, glossier feathers.

DNA sexing: Using a blood test to determine a bird’s sex.

Embroyo: A baby bird that is developing inside a fertile egg.

Feral: Birds who were previously in captivity but currently live in the wild.

Fledging: How a young parrot learns to fly.

Flight feathers: The long feathers on the wing, which enables a bird to fly.

Fancy bird cages: Decorative bird cages, designed to compliment household furniture and styles.

Frugivore: A bird who eats primarily fruit.

Gizzard: Tough, muscular tissue that helps grind hard substances, such as seeds, into digestible particles. These particles are them passed to the stomach where they are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Hand-raising: Feeding and raising a bird by hand, instead of letting its mother tend to it.

Hook bill: A name that refers to parrots.

Hybrid: A cross between two different bird species.

Insectivore: Birds who eat primarily insects.

Iris: The colored part of a bird’s eye.

Instinct: A type of behavior that a bird performs automatically.

Indoor avairy: Large cages that allow birds to fly from perch to perch. These types of aviaries are designed specially for indoors.

Monomorphic: When there are no distinguishing factors between male and female birds.

Molt: When birds shed their old feathers and re-grow new ones.

Nares: A bird’s nostrils.

Nectivore: Birds who feed on nectar.

Primary feathers: Long, stiff feathers located on the wing and tail. Generally these are the first 4-5 wing feathers.

Positive reinforcement: A training technique designed to ensure that a desirable behavior is repeated on an ongoing basis. A bird is immediately rewarded for any positive behavior.

Psittacosis: An avian disease caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci. It is transmissible to humans and can cause fever, headache and vomiting.

Playstand: A tall, vertical perch that includes hanging toys.

Self-mutilation: When a bird plucks his feathers or skin.

Dimorphic: Distinct physical differences between male and female birds. These varying characteristics can include color patterns and size.

Species: A group birds that share the same biological characteristics, appearance and history.

Subspecies: Birds within a group of species who have different characteristics than the main species.

Toxin: A poisonous substance or fume.

Uropygial gland: An oil-producing gland found in love birds.

Wean: When a baby bird leans to feed himself independently.

Zoonotic diseases: Animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

Zygodactyl: A parrot’s foot pattern, which consists of two toes pointing forward and two pointing backward.