locust-bird, noun

Also with initial capitals. Any of several birds that feed on locusts. 1. Formerly also with distinguishing epithet, great locust-bird: either of two storks of the Ciconiidae, the white stork Ciconia ciconia, or the whitebellied stork Ciconia abdimii. 2. Formerly also with defining word, small locust-bird: a. Any of several species of Pratincole, especially Glareola nordmanni of the Glareolidae; b. the wattled starling Creatophora cinerea of the Sturnidae. In these senses also called locust destroyer, locust-eater, sprinkaanvoel (see sprinkaan sense 2).
Note:
The name ‘locust-bird’ is also used elsewhere, but refers to a bird not found in South Africa.
1832 Graham’s Town Jrnl 24 Feb. 34The Locust Bird has at last visited this district in such numbers, that there is every prospect of a deliverance from the Locusts now in their larval state.
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 39It is curious to see the enormous numbers of so-called ‘locust birds’ which hang about the veld now. They are really storks, with black tipped wings, red beaks and legs, and very similar to the Asia Minor variety.
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 133The great locust bird or red legged stork...More abundant this year than has ever been known.
1867 E.L. Layard Birds of S. Afr. 291Glareola Nordmanni...Small Locust-bird of Colonists.
1867 E.L. Layard Birds of S. Afr. 314Ciconia Alba,..The White Stork, Gould..Great Locust-Bird of Colonists.
1874 Froude S. Afr. Notes13 Dec.An army of locust-birds.
a1875 T. Baines Jrnl of Res. (1964) II. 30McCabe shot a locust bird about the size of a small pigeon but in almost every other respect resembling a swallow.
1881 E.E. Frewer tr. of E. Holub’s Seven Yrs in S. Afr. I. 42The bird was really the South African grey crane, to which the residents have given the name of ‘the great locust bird’.
1899 R.B. & J.D.S. Woodward Natal Birds 200It (sc. the white stork Ciconia alba) consumes large quantities of locusts, and so earns for itself the title of ‘Great locust-bird.’
1900 Stark & Sclater Birds of S. Afr. I. 23Dilophus carunculatus, Wattled Starling...‘Locust Bird’ of English Colonists.
1903 A.R.E. Burton Cape Col. for Settler 11The white stork of Europe is known here as the ‘great locust bird.’
1910 A.B. Lamont Rural Reader 31The smaller locust birds follow swarms, cleverly snip off the wings of the locusts as they fly.
1923 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 10The next two species which are also known by the vernacular name of Small Locust Bird, are the two Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola and G. melanoptera).
1923 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 13The last of the ‘Locust’ Birds is the White-bellied Stork (Abdimia abdimii), a slightly glossy black bird with a white back and white underparts.
1936 E.L. Gill First Guide to S. Afr. Birds 141Wattled Starling,..Locust-Bird...Roving birds, appearing almost anywhere for a time in flocks and disappearing again. Called Locust-bird because they used (before man tried his hand at controlling the pest) to follow the swarms of locusts, living on them and nesting en masse wherever the locusts happened to settle and breed.
1949 U. Long Chron. of Jeremiah Goldswain II. 104Several species are colloquially called ‘Locust birds’. Goldswain refers to Wattled Starlings — creatophora carunculata.
1953 R. Campbell Mamba’s Precipice 47Flocks of..locust birds, descended and perched among the reeds.
1967 E. Rosenthal Encycl. of Sn Afr. 533The wattled starling..is a fawn-grey bird..; known too as the Locust-bird from its habit of following swarms of locusts and nesting in crowds where they settle.
1972 G.J. Broekhuysen in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VII. 19Locust-Bird, A number of birds belonging to different families are called locust-birds in Southern Africa...They include the pratincoles.., the wattled starling.., and storks, particularly the white stork..and the white-bellied stork.
1978 McLachlan & Liversidge Roberts Birds of S. Afr. 524Creatophora cinerea...Habits: A locally abundant species which moves restlessly about the country in small parties or very large flocks...Follows locust swarms...Food: Locusts — hence the popular name ‘locust-bird’.
either of two storks of the Ciconiidae, the white stork Ciconia ciconia, or the whitebellied stork Ciconia abdimii.
Any of several species of Pratincole, especially Glareola nordmanni of the Glareolidae;
the wattled starling Creatophora cinerea of the Sturnidae. In these senses also called locust destroyer, locust-eater, sprinkaanvoelsprinkaan2.

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