Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In ornithology, a group of birds of varying limits. In Cuvier's classification of birds, the third division of his Passerinæ a large artificial group, consisting of the larks, tits, finches, buntings, weavers, whydah-birds, colies, ox-peckers, American orioles and other Icteridœ, starlings, crows, jays, rollers, birds of Paradise, and others, belonging to different orders and several families of modern systems. (The term is obsolete in this sense, though long used, with various modifications.)
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A tribe of perching birds, including those which have a strong conical bill, as the finches.
“In the conirostres are the perfections which belong to the incessores as an order, with the conspicuous external feature of a comparatively small notch in their bills; in the dentirostres, the notch is strong and toothlike, (hence the name of the tribe) assimilating them to the raptores; the fissirostres come into analogy with the natatores in the slight development of their feet and their great powers of flight; the tenuirostres have the small mouths and long soft bills of the grallatores.”
“So, also, if we take the typical group of the birds, the incessores or perchers, and look in it for its typical group, the conirostres, and seek there again for the typical family of that group, the corvidae, we may expect to find a very marked superiority in organization and character.”
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