Definition of suboscine in US English:



  • Relating to passerine birds of a division that includes those other than songbirds, found chiefly in America.

    Suborder Deutero-Oscines, order Passeriformes

    Compare with oscine
    • ‘Geographic variation in song among suboscine birds has been taken to indicate genetic divergence.’
    • ‘All tyrant flycatchers in the genus Empidonax, called empids out of either affection or frustration, are suboscine songbirds with olive upperparts, pale throats and bellies, and whitish wing-bars and eye-rings.’
    • ‘The split between the oscine and suboscine lineages is assumed to have occurred in the late Cretaceous, when the South American and Indian tectonic plates became isolated.’
    • ‘Although the same codon deletion is found in representatives of at least two other avian orders, it is not present in lineages representing a diverse group of suboscine and oscine passerines.’
    • ‘We tested whether a suboscine bird, the alder flycatcher, was able to discriminate between songs of neighbors and strangers despite limited individual variation in song.’


  • A bird of the suboscine division.

    • ‘Despite the predominance of suboscines in the Neotropics, our knowledge of bird song and its functions is biased heavily toward studies of oscines.’
    • ‘All of these suboscines - both Old World and New - thus have geographical distributions that point back to Gondwana, and their beginnings there make even more sense once their close relatives, the songbirds, are taken into account.’
    • ‘Because vocalizations in suboscines are assumed to be inherited characters, not learned, they have been used frequently in assessing species limits and providing clues to genetic discontinuities among suboscine populations.’
    • ‘Particularly among suboscines, subtle differences in songs often separate closely related species, as recently confirmed for thamnophilid antbirds.’
    • ‘Chesser examined the molecular systematics of the New World suboscines and included three antpitta genera (Grallaricula, Myrmothera, and Grallaria) and one antthrush in the study.’