Punch,  35 (1858), 229.

A 'Rara Avis' Show



Reportage, Drollery


Exhibitions, Animal Behaviour, Ornithology, Sound, Charlatanry, Commerce, Amusement

    Discusses the bird show at the Crystal Palace, and expresses general disappointment with the exhibition, especially since the birds 'were either bashful or stupid', 'those who could talk would not talk', and 'those who could sing either lost their voices, or else were labouring under a very severe cold'. Directs special criticism at an 'impostor' starling, whose talking and singing skills left much to be desired. Notes that the 'Hooded or Royston Crow' was the 'great "star"' owing to its extraordinary age, although the costly bird was unaccountably hidden from view. Punch's descriptions of the other birds includes that of the 'Long-Eared Owl', the 'great success of the exhibition', which appeared to take particular interest in killing two canaries and could be 'cheered' on mentioning the word 'mouse'.

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