NidifugousHatching in a relatively developed state and leaving the nest almot immediately. Although their parents may protect them and lead them to food, truly nidifulous young (also called 'precocial young' or 'downies') can walk and, in the case of aquatic birds, swim, right from hatching and are able to feed themselves. They are found in predominantly ground-nesting groups, such as wildfowl and gallinaceous birds, while some other types, such as gulls (family Laridae) and terns (family Sternidae) have 'semi-precocial' young. Young which are not at all nidifugous are nidicolous.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver