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perching bird

any member of the avian order Passeriformes.
1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for perching bird
  • Tube feeders are designed with openings that can attract any perching bird, from cardinals to sparrows.
Encyclopedia Article for perching bird


any member of the largest order of birds and the dominant avian group on Earth today. The passeriform birds are true perching birds, with four toes, three directed forward and one backward. Considered the most highly evolved of all birds, passerines have undergone an explosive evolutionary radiation in relatively recent geological time and now occur in abundance on all continents except Antarctica and on most oceanic islands. Their rapid evolution and adaptation to virtually all terrestrial environments resulted in a large number of species, some 5,700, compared with only about 4,069 species of all other birds.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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