A helpful family member (okay, it was my aunt) very kindly visited my blog.
She sent me into a research flurry as she sent me an email that said:
Do you know that a female french bird is apparently a oiseuse?
She pointed out that she couldn't find it in her dictionary but had been told this by a friend in France. And her own dictionary says it is a contested word.
So, I asked the Frog (who I then had to tell I was writing a blog that included him... umm... still waiting for that reaction....).
Anyway - his official response to the female bird question:
There's no female pour oiseaux, 'oiseuse' means something useless, futile even lazy.
Did someone at work call you that today, dear?
This has opened a whole new can of worms.