Avicide. When is a new word appropriate?

To: "'n/a n/a'" <>, <>
Subject: Avicide. When is a new word appropriate?
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:05:41 +1100
Hi Bill,
I'm a little curious about where it is said that: The male Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) is said to predate its own young. (That is I assume the pun to be using the word "predate" as in eat, rather than occur before, which of course it does............). At a quick look in HANZAB I couldn't find a mention of it in "food", but then where else would they put a bit of text about that? HANZAB does say that fathers are not involved with chicks, they are territorial but do tolerate females with young. Also that the species is odd among ducks that the chicks are closely bonded to mother. So it seems unlikely.
Yes Musk Ducks are reported to eat ducklings or young of other species of waterbirds. That is just predation. Male bears will eat young bears that could possibly be their kids but it isn't so common in birds. But could happen, no doubt sometimes does. What is more common in birds that lay too many eggs for all to survive is that the smallest or youngest chick does not get fed or gets bullied by the others and I suspect more often just abandoned or dies and is eaten by or fed to the older chicks (rather than eaten by parents).
Why ask the question about Black Swans. It would seem anatomically impossible to me. They don't have a ripping beak and surely would not be able to swallow something that large........ Why would they do that, they aren't even a carnivore?
The word Avicide is just "killing of birds" and hardly suits use for the situation of a father eating his kids.
-----Original Message-----
From: n/a n/a [
Sent: Wednesday, 31 December 2014 6:57 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Avicide. When is a new word appropriate?

The male Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) is said to predate its own young. What does HANZAB say? What other nestlings / immatures is it known to predate? Fratricide has been used to describe Kookaburra nestlings killing siblings, so when an adult bird kills and eats its own young is that avicide? How common is avicide, e.g. among Australian Magpies and Black Swans? What word best descibes this situation? What other waterbirds may predate the young of all members of the Rallidae?
Bill Graham
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