passerine


passerine
/pas"euhr in, -euh ruyn', -euh reen'/, adj.
1. of, belonging, or pertaining to the order Passeriformes, comprising more than half of all birds and typically having the feet adapted for perching.
2. oscine (def. 1).
n.
3. any bird of the order Passeriformes.
[1770-80; < L passerinus of a sparrow, equiv. to passer sparrow + -inus -INE1]

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Any perching bird.

All passerines belong to the largest order of birds, Passeriformes, and have feet specialized for holding onto a horizontal branch (perching). The passerine foot has three forward-directed toes and one backward-directed toe. Most passerines have moderately curved, sharp claws. Some ground-dwelling species (e.g., larks, pipits) have flatter, longer feet. Species that spend much time airborne (e.g., swallows) have small, weak feet. Species that cling and climb (e.g., nuthatches) have strong, sharp, curved claws. Passerines include about 4,000 species of oscines (songbirds; suborder Passere, or Oscines) and 1,100 species of suboscines (suborders Eurylaimi, called broadbills; Tyranni, including flycatchers; and Menurae, including lyrebirds). Suboscines lack the syrinx of the songbirds or have only a poorly developed one, but some can utter complex vocalizations. All passerines are land birds, abundant worldwide except in Antarctica. Most are insectivorous, solitary nesters that build a cup-shaped open nest.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • passerine — [ pasrin ] n. f. • passerin adj. « qui ressemble au moineau » 1611; lat. passer, eris « moineau » → passereau 1 ♦ Plante (daphnoïdés) appelée communément langue de moineau, herbe à l hirondelle, proche de la daphné. 2 ♦ (1775) Passereau d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Passerine — Pas ser*ine, a. [L. passerinus, fr. passer a sparrow.] (Zo[ o]l.) Of or pertaining to the Passeres. [1913 Webster] The columbine, gallinaceous, and passerine tribes people the fruit trees. Sydney Smith. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Passerine — Pas ser*ine, n. (Zo[ o]l.) One of the Passeres. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • passerine — (adj.) 1776, from L. passerinus of a sparrow, from passer sparrow, possibly of imitative origin. The noun is 1842, from the adj …   Etymology dictionary

  • passerine — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ denoting birds of a large group (the order Passeriformes) distinguished by having feet adapted for perching and including all songbirds. ORIGIN from Latin passer sparrow …   English terms dictionary

  • passerine — [pas′ər in, pas′ərīn΄] adj. [L passerinus < passer, a sparrow] of or pertaining to an order (Passeriformes) of small or medium sized, chiefly perching songbirds having grasping feet with the first toe directed backward: more than half of all… …   English World dictionary

  • Passerine — Taxobox name = Passerines fossil range = Early Eocene (Wangerripian) to Recent image width = 250px image caption = House Sparrow ( Passer domesticus ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves subclassis = Neornithes infraclassis =… …   Wikipedia

  • Passerine — Passerine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • passerine — (pa se ri n ) s. f. 1°   Genre de plantes qui se rapprochent de la lauréole. La passerine dioïque, qui se trouve dans les Pyrénées. •   La passerine thymélée, DC, dite vulgairement herbe de Mont Serrat, et qui était le daphné thymélée de Linné,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • passerine — adjective Etymology: Latin passerinus of sparrows, from passer sparrow Date: 1776 of or relating to the largest order (Passeriformes) of birds which includes over half of all living birds and consists chiefly of altricial songbirds of perching… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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