Photographer Dianne Yudelson used the word aviary in calling a recent series featured in The New Yorker an "Antique Aviary."

The New Yorker's blurb explains Yudelson's use of antique in the title — she altered her digital photographs to give them the look of tintypes, a type of photograph popular during the 1860s and 1870s. What about aviary?

Beyond a quick check in the dictionary, there are two ways to figure out what the enticingly rare aviary means. First, let's look at morphology clues. Inside aviary, you see the Latin word for "bird," avis. (You may have heard its adjective form, avian, in the context of the avian flu, which affects birds.) Add to avis an -ary suffix, meaning "place," as in the -arium in aquarium, and you'll be well on your way to aviary's meaning, "a place for birds."

The second way to figure out aviary is to just look at the pictures themselves. Whether or not they're worth a thousand words, they certainly do a good job at explicating this one. (Full slideshow at