from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the red-backed shrike.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. any species of shrike of the genus Lanius, so called because they impale their prey on thorns.
- n. large carnivorous Australian bird with the shrikelike habit of impaling prey on thorns.
from The 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.
- n. In Australia, a name of birds of the genus Cracticus.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. large carnivorous Australian bird with the shrike-like habit of impaling prey on thorns
- n. shrikes that impale their prey on thorns
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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.