GLOSSARY

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ALBUMEN
The egg white, provides protection, water and protein for the developing embryo.
ALTRICIAL
Chicks that hatch at a very early stage in development. They are usually blind and naked upon hatching. Altricial chicks are dependent on their parents.
BICONICAL
Refers to the egg shape where both ends are tapered. Grebe eggs are biconical.
BILIVERDIN
Biliverdin and the zinc chelate of biliverdin are two of three pigments responsible for egg coloration. These pigments produce blue-green colours.
BLOOD SPOT
A red spot sometimes found on an egg yolk. The blood spot is also known as the meat spot. It is harmless and does not change the chemical or nutritive characteristics of the egg.
BROOD
The group of young hatched from a clutch of eggs.
BROOD PARASITISM
Also known as social parasitism or nest parasitism, refers to a female laying her eggs in the nest of another (host) bird, leaving to the foster parent the tasks of incubating and rearing the young. The parasite is thus spared these duties. North American cowbirds and European cuckoos are common brood parasites.
BROOD PATCH
The area on a bird's abdomen which loses most of its feathers and becomes engorged with blood vessels during the breeding season. When the brood patch is placed next to the eggs, the warmth of the parent can be transferred efficiently to the eggs. If both parents incubate, each develop a brood patch. Some gulls may have as many as three brood patches.