what is the name of a young bird

A bird is a bird, except when it’s a nestling, hatchling or fledgling. As baby birds grow, the specific names that refer to them change, and some species even spend several years in subadult stages before they reach the sexual maturity of adulthood. These different names denote subtle changes in plumage, proportions, behavior and care needs that can help birders properly identify baby birds. It’s time to refresh our vocabulary!

Hatchling: It hasn’t yet opened its eyes, and may have wisps of down on its body. It’s not ready to leave the nest.

Nestling: Its eyes are open, and its wing feathers may look like tubes because they’ve yet to break through their protective sheaths. It’s also not ready to leave the nest.

Fledgling: This bird is fully feathered. Its wings and tail may be short, and it may not be a great flyer, but it can walk, hop, or flutter. It has left the nest, though its parents may be nearby, taking good care of it.

Not all baby birds are born with feathers. Feathers are vital to birds, but many baby birds are born nearly bald.

When talking about the age of a bird, the terms juvenile and immature are not interchangeable.

Wilson Plovers leave their nests soon after hatching. Brown Pelicans Young leave ground nests after about 5 weeks and gather in groups, where returning parents apparently can recognize own offspring. Neither of these is considered branching but these young chicks also have not fledged as they have yet to fly.

We hope this article was informative. Do you have any other names for young birds? Let us know if there are other topics about birds you are interested to learn more about!

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The Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are a group of people who live, rent, or visit Seabrook Island, South Carolina. They are passionate about learning about, preserving, and ensuring the welfare of the remarkable array of birds that call Seabrook Island home all year round. View all posts by sibirders.

We hope this article was informative. Tell us about any other bird-related topics you would like to learn more about, as well as any other names you know for young birds!

Fledgling: This bird is fully feathered. It may not be a great flyer due to its short wings and tail, but it can still walk, hop, and flutter. It has left the nest, but its parents might still be there, looking after it.

Nestling: Its eyes are open, and because its wing feathers haven’t yet broken through their protective sheaths, they may resemble tubes. It’s also not ready to leave the nest.

The terms juvenile and immature are not interchangeable when discussing a bird’s age.

Chicken: A young female chicken is called a pullet or poult, and a young male chicken under a year old is called a cockerel. Pullet is derived from the Anglo-French diminutive of poule, or “hen,” and is where the word “poultry” originates. Cockerel is the diminutive of the Old English cocc, meaning “male bird.” It’s unclear if the word “cocc” comes from the French word “coq,” though some have proposed that it’s an echoic term derived from the male chicken’s crowing sound, “cock-a-doodle-do.”

When baby birds are born and remain in the nest until they leave, they are referred to as chicks. But there are also some more precise terms that refer to the bird’s age and, in certain situations, its species.

Due to their nearly constant cheeping when they are young, doves are also known as pipers, peeps, squeakers, or squealers. Squabs The word “squab” has been used to refer to a young bird since the 1600s, though its etymology is unclear. Before then, it was a term for a short, plump person.

By the fourteenth century, the term “chicken” was commonly used to refer to a single Gallus gallus domesticus, regardless of age or gender, and the suffix “s” was added to indicate plurals. According to The General Prologue of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, about the same time, the word “chicken” also started to refer to the meat of the bird. “A cook they had with them for the nones, To boil the chickens with the marrow-bones” is another way of saying, “A cook they had with them, just for the nonce.” In this context, “once” meant “for a single purpose,” as in nonce-words. The spelling most likely resulted from rebracketing the sentence “then anes.” Then in Middle English was the definite article.

Eagle – eaglet. Similar to the suffix -ling, words were designated as diminutive nouns by the addition of -let. It came from the French -ette, which was appended to nouns with the suffix -el. It gained especially much popularity in the eighteenth century with the invention of numerous new words, including ringlet, starlet, and piglet.


How do you describe a baby bird?

A nestling is a baby bird that is pink with very little or no feathers. It still needs to be in the nest. A fledgling is a baby bird that has some feathers and can hop around. Its parents have pushed it out of the nest on purpose to help it learn how to fly.

Is a chick a young bird?

CHICK. A young bird that leaves the nest soon after hatching and typically walks or hops near its family group until it is able to fly. FLEDGLING. A bird that has left the nest and is acquiring its first set of flight feathers, but is still dependent upon parent birds for food and care.

What is considered a young bird?

Hatchlings and Nestlings If you find a young bird without fully-formed feathers, it is a hatchling or nestling and should be returned to its nest, if possible. Hatchlings are just a few days old. They are either featherless, have thin, fluffy down, or have very stubbly feather growth.

What is the baby version of a bird?

A baby bird is classified as either a nestling or fledgling, depending on its age. A nestling is a very young baby bird that doesn’t have much feathering. A fledgling is older than a nestling and has more feathers, but does not yet know how to use his wing feathers to fly.