Anatomy: Lores

Dorothy’s egg pre-empted my normal Friday anatomy lesson.  Now that the first excitement is over, I can resume our regular programming (as we say in the TV business) with a bird anatomy lesson you can apply right away. 

In the spring, the lores on many birds become colorful in preparation for breeding.

What are the lores?  The lore (singular) is the space between the bill and the eye, indicated by the pink arrow.  Since there are two of these spaces, the word is usually plural. 

The lores are often featherless on water and wading birds.  Even so they turn gorgeous colors in the spring.  Click to see the beautiful green lores on this great egret and the yellow ones on this double-crested cormorant.   

Closer to home, I’ll be watching the lores on white-throated sparrows.  They become bright yellow, a pretty sign of Spring.

(photo of white-throated sparrow by Marcy Cunkelman.  Click-through photos by Chuck Tague)

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