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butcher-bird

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Definition of butcher-bird in English:

noun

1A shrike (family Laniidae), which impales its prey on thorns.
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
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.

Origin

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

Definition of butcher-bird in:

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