A nestling is a baby bird that can't fly yet and tends to hang out in its — yes, you guessed it — nest. Nestlings have to be fed and cared for by their parents.

From the moment a baby bird hatches from its egg, it is a nestling — and it remains a nestling until it learns to fly, when it officially becomes a fledgling. Some people fondly refer to young children as nestlings too. This noun adds the diminutive ending -ling (as in gosling for baby goose) to nest.

Definitions of nestling

n young bird not yet fledged

baby bird
Type of:
young bird
a bird that is still young

n a young person of either sex

child, fry, kid, minor, nipper, shaver, small fry, tiddler, tike, tyke, youngster
show 23 types...
hide 23 types...
a child: son or daughter
a robust child
a child secretly exchanged for another in infancy
child prodigy, infant prodigy, wonder child
a prodigy whose talents are recognized at an early age
foster child, foster-child, fosterling
a child who is raised by foster parents
imp, monkey, rapscallion, rascal, scalawag, scallywag, scamp
one who is playfully mischievous
a young child
a child who has lost both parents
a young child who is small for his age
poster child
a child afflicted by some disease or deformity whose picture is used on posters to raise money for charitable purposes
kindergartener, kindergartner, preschooler
a child who attends a preschool or kindergarten
a word used for misbehaving children
a child
bambino, toddler, tot, yearling
a young child
poor and often mischievous city child
street child, waif
a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned
foster daughter, foster-daughter
someone who is raised as a daughter although not related by birth
foster son, foster-son
someone who is raised as a son although not related by birth
poster boy
a male poster child
poster girl
a female poster child
ragamuffin, tatterdemalion
a dirty shabbily clothed urchin
guttersnipe, street urchin
a child who spends most of his time in the streets especially in slum areas
brat, holy terror, little terror, terror
a very troublesome child
Type of:
juvenile, juvenile person
a young person, not fully developed

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.