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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Birds - The King Bird

( Originally Published 1894 )



The King Bird or Tyrant Fly-catcher of North America is small, but of a fearless disposition, attacking hawks, crows, and other larger birds, and generally having the best of the battle. The upper part of its body is black and the lower of a delicate white. Its song is a shrill twittering "resembling the jingling of a bunch of keys." It belongs to the family of the Tyrant Shrikes or Tyrannidoe. It is during the time of incubation that it shows so much ferocity. Wilson says, " I have seen the red-headed woodpecker while clinging on a rail of the fence, amuse himself with the violence of the king bird, and play 'bo-peep' with him round the rail, while the latter, highly irritated, made every attempt, as he swept from side to side, to strike him, but in vain. All his turbulence subsides as soon as his young are able to shift for themselves, and he is then as mild and peaceable as any other bird."



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