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bird-minder

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bird-minder n [Found also in Brit Engl; cf mind n C6] Sth hist

One who frightens birds away from a crop; also vbl n bird-minding the activity of doing this.
1828 S. Agriculturist 1.496, The bird-minder is desired, in the spring season, to shoot principally the hen bird, this tariffys, or interrupts propagation, and the gentlemen are induced to go sparking elsewhere, perhaps in your next neighbours field. 1841 (1842) Holmes S. Farmer & Market Gardener 13 SC, A quart of tar will be sufficient for a bushel of corn. . . Since using the tar, I have never had a bird minder, or lost a stand by crows or other birds. 1870 Rural Carolinian 1.607, [List of expenses in growing 300 acres of rice:] Bird minding—200 00[,] Powder, caps, etc—100 00. 1888 LA Planter & Sugar Manufacturer 1.53, The bird-minders who are employed to keep the birds away usually fail in their duty. . . [I]t is “penny wise and pound foolish” to economize in bird-minding and to then have them carry off the whole crop. 1910 Wayne Birds SC 113, Fields which are planted with oats in February must be constantly guarded by boys called “bird minders.” 1928 U.S. Dept. Ag. Farmers’ Bulletin 1571.14 VA, In 1927 starlings inflicted severe damage to grapes on the Arlington (Va.) Experimental Farm. . . A large flock driven from neighboring cornfields by bird minders congregated in the vicinity of the vineyard. 1941 Writers’ Program Guide South Carolina 389, Plantation ‘bird-minders,’ armed with muskets, tin pans, and rawhide whips, were stationed on the banks to scare the marauders away.
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