Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A shrike; an oscine passerine bird of the family Laniidæ, and especially of the genus Lanius (see these words): so called from its curious habit of killing more than it immediately eats, and sticking what is left upon thorns, as a butcher hangs meat upon hooks. The common butcher-bird of Europe is L. excubitor; two common American species are the great northern shrike, L. borealis, and a smaller southern species, the white-rumped shrike or loggerhead, L. ludovicianus. See
- n. In Australia, a name of birds of the genus Cracticus.
- n. the red-backed shrike.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) any species of shrike of the genus Lanius, so called because they impale their prey on thorns.
- n. (Zoöl.) large carnivorous Australian bird with the shrikelike habit of impaling prey on thorns.
- n. large carnivorous Australian bird with the shrike-like habit of impaling prey on thorns
- n. shrikes that impale their prey on thorns
“A butcher bird sat on the air-con unit outside the kitchen window every day and sang so sweetly you would never guess it was a killer that stabbed and speared its prey, leaving the corpses hanging in a thorn-bush larder.”
“The towee bird (fringilla erythrophthalma) are very numerous, as are a species of bluish grey butcher bird (lanius.)”
Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws; Containing An Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians.
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