Feather louseA member of the insect sub-order Mallophaga living as an ectoparasite among a bird's feathers. These lice are very common among birds, feeding on the feathers themselves, and many are host-specific. Birds are also likely to be infested with 'louse-flies', which have a characteristic flattened shape and feed by sucking blood. They are members of the family Hippoboscidae, hence the use of the term 'hippoboscids' to describe them.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver