uropygial gland

noun Ornithology.
a gland opening on the back at the base of the tail in most birds that secretes an oily fluid used by the bird in preening its feathers.
Also called oil gland, preen gland.


Origin:
1865–70

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World English Dictionary
uropygial gland
 
n
a gland, situated at the base of the tail in most birds, that secretes oil used in preening

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

uropygial gland

in birds, an organ located on the back near the base of the tail. Paired or in two united halves, it is found in most birds. Absent in ostrich, emu, cassowary, bustard, frogmouth, and a few other birds, the oil gland is best-developed in aquatic species, notably petrels and pelicans, and in the osprey and oilbird.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Research in those days centered on bird migration, physiological ecology, and anatomy of the avian uropygial gland.
Dippers have a relatively large uropygial gland or preen gland to maintain waterproof feathers.
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