a rare bird

a rare bird

A person or thing that is very unusual, especially due to a combination of typically incompatible features. Their latest model is a rare bird indeed, a spacious hatchback that still feels premium and elegant in its design. The film is a rare bird—funny, crass, and yet more emotionally powerful than anything I've seen all year.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird, a

An exceptional individual, a unique person, as in That wife of yours is a rare bird; you're lucky to have her. This idiom, generally used as a compliment, is a translation of the Latin rara avis, which itself was used from about 1600 on and began to be translated only in the late 1800s.
See also: rare

a rare bird

LITERARY
If you call someone or something a rare bird, you mean that they are very unusual. Diane Johnson's book is that rare bird, an American novel of manners. Note: `A rare bird' is a translation of the Latin expression `rara avis', which was used by the Roman writer Juvenal in the 2nd century AD to describe a black swan. At the time, black swans were unknown, although they were later discovered in Australia.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird

an exceptional person or thing; a rarity.
The English expression is a literal translation of the Latin rara avis .
2005 Apollo Magazine Joseph Southall is that rare bird, an Arts and Crafts painter.
See also: bird, rare

a rare ˈbird

a person or thing that is unusual, often because they have/it has two very different interests or qualities: Jill is a very rare bird, a good politician and an excellent listener.This expression is a translation of the Latin idiom ‘rara avis’.
See also: bird, rare

rare bird

n. an unusual person; a person with rare talents or abilities. An interesting kind of rare bird is the man who can take long vacations and still make money.
See also: bird, rare
References in periodicals archive ?
We are happy to see these three black-necked stork chicks because they are a rare bird, not often seen in the forest," said a statement quoting Yoeun Yerb, a WCS-supported nest protector in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary.
TWITCHERS are flocking to a Black Country field to take a glance of a rare bird wintering in our region.
Bankura (West Bengal), March 10 ( ANI ): A rare bird sighted at Sanbandha village on the outskirts of Bankura town in West Bengal amazed curious onlookers and bird lovers.
BIRDWATCHERS flocked to Tyneside to catch a glimpse of a rare bird.
It was the second death of a rare bird in Scotland in as many weeks.
BEMUSED police officers were led on a merry dance by a rare bird with a mohican.
Conservation ranger Iolo Lloyd said it was remarkable to see so many specimens of such a rare bird in Clocaenog.
A RARE bird which arrived in England as a stowaway on a boat has sparked a twitching frenzy as hundreds of spotters flock to see it.
So he comes up with a scheme to report a sighting of a rare bird, and before they know it, the place is crawling with birders, flying in from all over the place to catch a glimpse of the non-existent bird.
The black stern, a rare bird of the polder, used to breed on floating peat bogs found in the area, so volunteers now create floats for them to nest and breed on, as floating peat is scarce.
Birdwatchers looked on in horror as a hawk swooped on a rare bird, carried it away and ate it.
A BIRDWATCHER travelled for five-and-a-half hours to North Wales - only to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a rare bird.