1rare Any bird that lives among reeds.
2North American dialect, rare (chiefly east Midland). The bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus, flocks of which often frequent rice fields in the autumn. Compare ricebird .
3Any of several Old World warblers of the genus Acrocephalus (family Sylviidae) which frequent reed beds; especially the sedge warbler (A. schoenobaenus), the reed warbler (A. scirpaceus), and (Australian) the clamorous reed warbler (A. stentoreus).
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Henry Hexham (fl. 1601–1650), soldier and author. From reed + bird.