from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A hawk or other bird of prey that feeds upon carrion; one of the Cathartidæ or Polyborinæ, as a condor, turkey-vulture, or caracara.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Then, as to the vulture, it was not a true vulture nor a strictly true eagle, but a carrion-hawk, a bird the size of a small eagle, blackish brown in colour with a white neck and breast suffused with brown and spotted with black; also it had a very big eagle-shaped beak, and claws not so strong as an eagle's nor so weak as a vulture's.
In summer I was never tired of watching this tree, since high up in one of the branches, which in those days seemed to me "so close against the sky," a scissor-tail tyrant-bird always had its nest, and this high open exposed nest was a constant attraction to the common brown carrion-hawk, called
The consternation caused among birds by its appearance is vastly greater than that produced by any of the raptors I have mentioned: and it is unquestionably very much more destructive to birds, since it preys exclusively on them, and, as a rule, merely picks the flesh from the head and neck, and leaves the untouched body to its jackal, the carrion-hawk.
In the song of the mocking-thrush, in the harsh cry of the carrion-hawk, in the great candlestick-like opuntias, I clearly perceived the neighbourhood of
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