Saturday, August 31, 2013


bird.  A general term for the feathered kind; a fowl.  In common talk, fowl is used for the larger, and bird for the smaller kind of feathered animals.

bi’ttern.  A bird with long legs, and a long bill, which feeds upon fish; remarkable for the noise he makes, usually called bumping.

ea’gle.   (1) A bird of prey, which, as it is reported, renews its age when it grows old.  But some think that this recovery of youth, happens no otherwise in the eagle than in other birds, by casting their feathers every year in the moulting season, and having others in the room.  It is also said not to drink at all, like other birds with sharp claws.  It is given out, that when an eagle sees its young so well grown as to venture upon flying, it hovers over their nest, flutters with its wings, and excites them to imitate it, and take their flight; and when it sees them weary, or fearful, it takes and carries them upon its back.  Eagles are said to be extremely sharp-sighted, and when they take flight, spring perpendicularly upward, with their eyes steadily fixed upon the sun, ‘mounting till, by their distance, they disappear.  Calmet.

strick.  A bird of bad omen.
The ill fac’d owl, death’s dreadful messenger,
The hoarse night-raven, trump of doleful drere,
The leather-winged bat, day’s enemy,
The rueful strick, still waiting on the bier.  Fairy Queen.

stork.  A bird of passage famous for the regularity of its departure.

The Trashmen -- Surfin' Bird (Link)

Henry Cow -- Bittern Storm Over Ulm (Link) 

From: Johnson’s Dictionary, A Modern Selection by E.L. McAdam, Jr. & George Milne, New York, Pantheon Books, 1963.