The Birder Jargon Dictionary
Beachpipers – n. Refers to those shorebird species generally observed on sandy shorelines
Big Day – n. A birding event in which a birder, or a team of birders, attempts to see as many species of birds as possible in a 24 hour period.
Big Year – n. A birding event in which a birder attempts to see as many species of birds as possible within a defined region (world, state, ABA Area) in 365 days, generally from January 1 to December 31.
Buffie – 1) n. Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis
BV – n. Hawkwatcher term for a Black Vulture.
BVD – n. Better View Desired. A term for a life bird seen well enough to identify, but not well enough to enjoy.
Chick – n. Any species of North American Chickadee
Chickamice – n. A general term referring to a mixed flock of Chickadees and Titmice
Chippy – n. A slang term for Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina.
Dip - 1) v. To travel to attempt to see a previously reported rare bird and fail to see it. 2) n. The actual bird that one has missed. Related forms: Dipped, verb.
Fallout – n. A rare and exciting occurrence in which migrating birds are forced to the ground by adverse weather where they can congregate in very large numbers. Generally associated with certain meteorological and geographical conditions.
Grasspipers – n. Refers to those shorebird species generally observed in grass or on sod farms
Greaterlegs – n. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
Grip (or Grip off) – v. To see a bird which another birder missed and to tell them you’ve seen it, often to brag about said sighting.
Hoodie – 1) n. Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus. Appropriated from duck hunter slang. 2) n. Hooded Warbler , Wilsonia citrina
Leastie – n. Least Sandpiper, Calidris minutilla
Lesserlegs – n. Lesser Yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes
Life List - n. A list of every species of bird an individual birder has ever seen, or heard, in the world. See also Lifer
Lifer – n. The first-ever sighting of a bird by an observer, added to one’s life list. See also Life List, Tick
Link – n. Lincoln’s Sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii.
Local Patch – n. A birding location, often near one’s home, that an individual birder visits regularly. see also Patch
Marshpipers – n. Refers to those shorebird species generally observed in marshes
Mega – n. A very rare bird generally a continental or national rarity, but can also be used to refer to state rarities also.
Modo – n. Slang term for a Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura.
Mudpipers – n. Refers to those shorebird species generally observed on mud or tidal flats.
Nemesis Bird – n. A bird that has eluded a birder despite several efforts to see it.
Patch – n. A birding location, often near one’s home, that an individual birder visits regularly. see also Local Patch
Peck -n. Pectoral Sandpiper, Calidris melanotos
Peep – n. A collective term for the five smallest North American Calidris Sandpipers; Least, Semipalmated, Western, White-rumped, and Baird’s
Pish – n. An emphatic shushing noise made by North American birders to elicit mobbing behavior in small birds. The sound is intended to roughly replicate the alarm calls of chickadees and titmice.
Rockpipers – n. A term referring to those shorebird species generally observed on rocky shorelines.
Roughie – n. Hawkwatcher term for Rough-legged Hawk, Buteo lagopus. see also Roughleg
Roughleg- n. Hawkwatcher term for Rough-legged Hawk, Buteo lagopus. see also Roughie
Sand – n. Sandpiper. Often paired with the species name (Least Sand, Western Sand, Stilt Sand, etc)
Semi – 1) n. Semipalmated Sandpiper, Calidris pusilla, see also Semi Sand 2) n. Semipalmated Plover, Charadrius semipalmatus, see also Semi P or Semi Plover.
Semi P – n. Semipalmated Plover, Charadrius semipalmatus, often used to differentiate from Semipalmated Sandpiper. see also Semi or Semi Plover
Semi Plover – n. Semipalmated Plover, Charadrius semipalmatus, often used to differentiate from Semipalmated Sandpiper. see also Semi or Semi P
Semi Sand – n. Semipalmated Sandpiper, Calidris pusilla, often used to differentiate from Semipalmated Plover. see also Semi
Shoulder – n. Hawkwatcher term for Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
Slash – n. A term used to describe to cryptic species pairs that cannot be identified to species, often in reference to a day checklist. Examples include Long/Short-billed Dowitchers, Greater/Lesser Yellowlegs, Willow/Alder Flycatcher.
Sollie – n.Solitary Sandpiper, Tringa solitaria. see also Sollie Sand
Sollie Sand – n. Solitary Sandpiper, Tringa solitaria. see also Sollie
Songer – n. Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia.
Spotty – n. Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius
SSV – n. Soul Satisfying View. A term used for a life bird seen exceptionally well.
String – v. The act of intentionally misleading other birders about the presence of a rare bird. see also Stringer
Stringer – n. A person with a reputation of knowingly misleading others about the presence of rare bird, or one who is believed to intentionally fabricate rare bird sightings. The presence of malice is important in distinguishing a string from a well-intentioned mistake. see also String
Swampy – n. Swamp Sparrow, Melospiza georgiana.
Tail – n.Hawkwatcher term for Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Tick- 1) n. – A new bird added to one’s list. 2) v. – The act of adding a bird to one’s list Related forms: Ticking, verb. Ticked, verb. see also Lifer
TV – n. Hawkwatcher term for a Turkey Vulture.
Twitch – v. To seek out a previously reported rare bird, generally traveling long distances to do so. Related forms: Twitching, verb. Twitcher, noun, one who twitches.
Twitchable – adj. Referring to a bird that, by virtue of its reliability and accessibility, is easy to find if chased.
Two Bird Theory – n. A mostly pejorative term used to refer to a situation in which a rare or otherwise desirable bird is claimed to be present alongside a more common, and often similar, species.
Uppie – n. Upland Sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda
Woodie – n. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa. Appropriated from duck hunter slang
Zono – n. A collective term for sparrows of the genus Zonotrichia.
Zootie – n. A locally rare or unusual bird. A “good” bird. The etymology is not certain, but it has been suggested that the term was coined by Oklahoma birder Joe Grzybowski.