Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various birds, especially the shrike, that impale their prey on thorns.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The fiscal shrike, Lanius collaris
  • n. any of the magpie-like birds in the genus Cracticus

Etymologies

butcher +‎ bird, from its habit of hanging its prey. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Though many bird species hunt, kill, and eat other animals—from the shrike, a songbird also known as the butcherbird, who kills and then uses thorns to skewer other birds to store them prominently for a later meal and attract a mate, to the worm-eating robin—birds of prey are exclusively predatory.

    Birdology

  • Beehler also stated that the forests from Mt. Riu eastward are very important to the survival of the Tagula honeyeater and the Tagula butcherbird.

    Louisiade Archipelago rain forests

  • I have a friend, a pied butcherbird, who cannot sing.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • Cell Phones Heed Call of the Wild << Back to Article  :  Music   Cell Phones Heed Call of the Wild Katie Dean 10.30.04 Cell-phone users in the United States will soon have the option to set their ringers to the song of the pied butcherbird, cry of the screaming piha or tremolo of a loon, among other critters.

    Cell Phones Heed Call of the Wild

  • The determination and fierce resolution of the shrike, or butcherbird, despite his small size, is most marked.

    Nature Near London

  • By singing just after the butcherbird vocalizes, a male can be sure that females are paying attention and will hear their song.

    Ars Technica

  • The second possibility is that when female fairy wrens hear a butcherbird call, they go on high alert and are particularly tuned in to their environment.

    Ars Technica

  • They played either a solo butcherbird call, a solo Type II song, or a butcherbird call followed by a Type II song, and recorded the ladies' reactions.

    Ars Technica

  • Females sang back to males at a much higher rate if Type II songs were preceded by a butcherbird call, suggesting that the predator call does increase attentiveness.

    Ars Technica

  • Furthermore, when butcherbird playbacks occurred, males sometimes turned to females and performed visual displays such as the interestingly-named "sea horse flight,"

    Ars Technica

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.