Let’s chirp: Bird Facts

Let’s chirp about birds this morning. I’m sitting in the Westglen Endoscopy Center waiting for my husband’s routine checkup. As most of you, know, there is nothing routine about any type of “oscopy.” One of the necessary evils of preventative health care. The last time I was here, I was the patient. Needless to say, I was unable to enjoy the living bird aviary located in the waiting area. It is built and maintained by Living Design, a company out of South Dakota. This beautiful aviary contains a variety of finches that have been bred in captivity. Living Design promotes and preserves breeding stock of of these tiny seedeaters. If you have every been around finches, you know they are a delight to watch. 

As I am want to do, I was immediately drawn in by this captivating display and made full use of the binder of information provided. Here are a few tidbits of information I gleaned about bird talk. Test your knowledge.

Bird Vocabulary

  • Ornithology-the study of birds
  • Passerine-seed eaters such as the tiny finches, I’m observing right now
  • Preen- the act of a bird caring for and cleaning its feathers. A mate or another bird may perform this ritual as well for hard to reach places.
  • Molt- process of replacing old feathers with new> Some species only molt once a year while others twice. A molt usually occurs prior to breeding season.
  • Clutch-number of eggs laid in one nesting
  • Incubation-parent sits on eggs to keep them warm so the baby bird develops inside.
  • Hatchling-bird out of shell within the last 24 hours
  • Fledgling-baby that has left the nest but still dependent on parents for food.

All birds have wings but about forty species of birds do fly to include ostrich and emu.

Birds tap oil from a gland at the base of their tails to work through their feathers. 

Finches have multiple varieties. They fall into open and covered nesters. Their breeding habits vary according to the type of nest they raise their young in. Covered nesters prefer a mating dance from a brightly colored male. While open nesters prefer a serenade from their chosen male. Hhmm…, not sure which category I would fall under if I were a finch. Dancer or singer to serenade me? And when you add the bright male plumage on top of the other attributes, how’s a girl to chose?


Well, time to go. Thankfully, my husband has a clean bill of health and is ready for breakfast. I have spent the past hour observing the up close antics of another of nature’s wonderful creatures. A clear reminder that winter is coming and it’s time to stock up on wild-bird seed.  Birds are another important link in the pollination cycle. 

Interested in a home aviary? Here is the link: http://www.mylivingdesign.com/

All creatures great and small, I charge you to care for them all!


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