Definition of butcher-bird in English:


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  • 1A shrike (family Laniidae), which impales its prey on thorns.
    More example sentences
    • The butcher-bird is today's loggerhead shrike, found only rarely anywhere in Massachusetts now.
    • Also known as the gray shrike, the great butcher-bird is known for securing its prey to thorns so that it can more easily tear it apart.
    • Since the isabellinus group is morphologically and biologically intermediate between the other two groups. it would be more cautious today to combine all forms of butcher-birds into a single polytypic species.
  • 2A crow-like predatory Australasian songbird, with a heavy hook-tipped bill. Compare with magpie ( sense 2).
    • Family Cracticidae: three genera, in particular Cracticus, and several species
    More example sentences
    • The adult Grey Butcherbird has a black crown and face and a grey back, with a thin white collar.
    • The Pied Butcherbird is a medium-sized black and white bird (33cm - 37cm)
    • The Pied Butcher Bird is a black hooded Butcher Bird with a superb song.


mid 17th century: from its habit of impaling its prey on thorns.

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw