Definition of apostlebird in English:



  • 1A gregarious Australian bird of the mud-nester family, with grey, brown, and black plumage and a robust black bill.

    Struthidea cinerea, family Corcoracidae (or Grallinidae)

    • ‘In another paper accepted for publication in the same journal, he and colleagues from the University of Melbourne, Australia, studied apostlebirds, Struthidea cinerea.’
    • ‘One need go no further than the verandah of your Canvas Cabin to see scaly-breasted and rainbow lorikeets, king parrots, scrub turkeys, kookaburras, currawongs squatter pigeons and apostlebirds.’
    • ‘This family also contains birds as varied as the quail-thrushes, sittellas, choughs, apostlebirds, shrike-tits, bellbirds, whistlers, shrike-thrushes, birds-of paradise, butcherbirds, magpies, currawongs, woodswallows, orioles, cuckoo-shrikes, trillers, fantails, monarchs, magpie-larks, and others.’
    1. 1.1Australian Any of a number of other gregarious birds, especially babblers.


Early 20th century named from the supposed habit of these birds of going about in flocks of twelve.