(noun) The bend in the leading (front) edge of a bird's wing halfway between the shoulder and the wingtip. The ability to move the wrist is critical for agility and maneuvering in flight, and properly folding the wrist helps keep feathers aligned and healthy when the bird is perched.
To use a bird's wrist for identification, note the position of the wrist in flight relative to the head, shoulder and wingtip, particularly whether it is held crooked or is straight across the wing. Also note any markings near the wrist, such as the "comma" shapes the ferruginous hawk shows or the dark patches found near the wrists of rough-legged hawks and ospreys.
Photo – Gull Wing Wrist © Alex E. Proimos