One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large African waxbill with a stout metallic blue bill and red and black plumage.
Genus Spermophaga, Estrildidae: three species
2Any of a number of ducks with blue bills.
(North American) the scaup duck.
(Australian) the blue-billed duck (Oxyura australis).
- ‘Scaup (bluebill) numbers plummeted during the past two decades, falling from a high of more than 7 million in the early 1980s to about 3.4 million this year.’
- ‘The research also determined that body weights of collected bluebills were greater than or similar to estimates from birds collected in the 1980s before the precipitous decline.’
- ‘When drought hit the prairies and parkland in the mid-1980s, scaup (bluebill) numbers fell below their goal of just over 6 million.’
- ‘It is a great place for information on bluebill hunting, Minnesota bluebill hunting, Saskatchewan snow goose hunting and other hunting information.’
- ‘For years, they'd noticed bluebills disappearing from the state, and they blamed the lack of scuds - the same freshwater shrimp being eaten by minnows - for the decline.’
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