from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The rump of a bird; the terminal section of the body, represented by the caudal vertebræ, into which the tail-feathers are inserted.


  • A range of short brown stiff feathers, about six inches long, fixed in the uropygium, is the real tail, and serves as the fulcrum to prop the train, which is long and top-heavy, when set on end.

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

  • The crown of the head, the throat, the ear-coverts, and the eyes have usually distinct tints in all highly coloured birds; the region of the furcula has often a distinct patch of colour, as have the pectoral muscles, the uropygium or root of the tail, and the under tail-coverts.

    Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwinism

  • Male flamingos produce and use their own make-up pigments to colour their feathers before displaying to potential mates, a new study shows. They get their 'make-up' from the uropygium glands, the area from which their tail feathers grow.

    Carl Holm, ‘Flamingos Make Up Ways to Find a Mate,’ ABC News, October 28, 2010


This word comes from the Greek ‘ouro-,’ tail, plus ‘puge,’ rump.