from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Leaving the nest a short time after hatching. Used of a bird.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That leaves the nest shortly after hatching

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of birds, able to run about when hatched: same as precocial: contrasted with nidicolous.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of birds) leaving the nest shortly after hatching


Latin nīdus, nest; + Latin -fugus, fleeing (from fugere, to flee; see fugitive).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Prägung, or imprinting, in his seminal paper in 1935, to refer to the process of rapid bound-formation early in the life of the so-called nidifugous birds (the fowl, ducks, geese, and the like).

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • 'A possible fundamental in the behaviour of young nidifugous birds '- One of the most significant behaviour patterns observed is one which occurs immediately upon hatching.

    Naturejobs - All Jobs

  • Altricial I lies at one extreme ( 'birth with eyes closed, naked, and nidicolousor nest-dwelling'), and precocial IV at the other ( 'birth with eyes open, haired, and nidifugous or nest-fleeing') [21].

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  • For leaving the nest shortly before hatching, see eggroll.

    July 13, 2008