Hunting birds at night by dazzling them with lights and striking them with sticks as they emerge from their roosting place; an instance of hunting in this way.
1886 Century Illustr. Mag. 31.586 nGA, The boys were off in the thickets bird-thrashing, and Tempy sat in the best room with Jeff Morgan. 1899 Galveston Daily News (TX) 26 Nov 20/6 cTX, Little boys that go out bird thrashing of nights, don’t you know that you are doing wrong to disturb and kill the poor little things while they are asleep and resting? 1909 Laurel Ledger (MS) [4 Mar 7]/6 (newspaperarchive.com), Old Fashioned Bird Thrashing. J. M. Holifield and B. F. Moss . . report a record breaker for bird thrashing. The whole male population turned out to the number of forty or fifty. When round-up was made a haul of some 3600 birds had been sacked. 1915 State (Columbia SC) 14 Mar 12/5 cnSC, A negro . . was in Chester giving a glowing account of the sport that he and his neighbors were having “threshing” robins. . . Of all socalled sports, said Mr. Spratt, this of bird threshing at night is the most brutal and destructive. 1933 Ruston Daily Leader (LA) 2 Mar 2/1, Eighteen of the young people went bird-thrashing last Friday night from this community [=Burgesville]. Although there were no birds caught, everyone enjoyed a long hike with pine splinters for a light. 1948 NW AR Times (Fayetteville) 10 Jan 2/7, In my bringing up winter was tops. . . To be sure there was wood to chop, water to tote and chores to do. But there were also long winter nights to hunt, to go bird thrashing; to sit around sweetsmelling campfires, and revel in the companionship of the neighbor boys. 2011 Chavis Memoirs Lumbee 28 csNC (as of 1940s), While I was growing up, I never went hunting with a firearm. I went snipe hunting with a burlap bag and bird thrashing with a bush and a limb.