Definition of nidifugous
: leaving the nest soon after hatching
Did You Know?
Nidifugous hatched from the Latin words nidus, meaning "nest," and fugere, meaning "to flee." Its contrasting word nidicolous, meaning "reared for a time in a nest," combines "nidus" with the English combining form "-colous" ("living or growing in or on"). Another relevant term is "precocial." A precocial bird is capable of a high degree of independent activity as soon as it emerges from the egg. While all nidifugous birds are also necessarily precocial, some nidicolous birds are also precocial - that is, they are capable of leaving the nest soon after hatching, but instead they stick around. Other nidicolous birds are "altricial," which is to say they are hatched in a very immature and helpless condition and require care for some time.
Origin of nidifugous
Latin nidus nest + fugere to flee — more at fugitive
First Known Use: 1896
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