a rare bird

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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

rare bird, a

An unusual phenomenon or person. The term is a translation from Juvenal’s Satires (ca. a.d. 120), in which, speaking of chastity, he writes, “Rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno” (A bird as rare upon the earth as a black swan). The term was soon being applied to other rare phenomena, often as sarcastically as Juvenal had used it, as, for example, for “an honest lawyer” (John Wesley, Journal, 1764).
See also: rare
References in periodicals archive ?
The petitioners challenged the hunting of the rare birds and submitted that breed of the rare birds had been in danger because of hunting.
Consisting of the petitioners, Advocate General Anwar Hussain and Forest Department officials, the commission had examined the hunting of the rare birds as well as the protection of biodiversity in the country.
PROTECTORS of the North East's red kites have spoken of their disgust after one of the rare birds was shot dead near Gateshead.
The Zoo authorities made sure that they left no stone unturned in taking good care of the rare birds.
And only two pairs of the rare birds bred in Birmingham this year.
The Fort - which is soon to be home of The Birmingham Post and Mail - is one of a number of buildings that has attracted the rare birds.
Monitored by wardens and security cameras, the rare birds - known as GreenXS and NoRing - returned to Bassenthwaite in April and quickly settled down to breed.
Sandy Cumming, of Glenfarg, on the Fife-Perthshire border, believes the Government's existing advice will harm the rare birds and is demanding vaccination.
She explains the nature of the different radioisotopes released in the accident, examines plants for signs of mutations, and catalogs the rare birds and mammals that have repopulated the area.
Two long-eared owls who have made their home at Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve in Coventry have lured hundreds of bird watching enthusiasts hoping for a glimpse of the rare birds.
And they stole three more of the rare birds from Northumberland.
Advocate Sheraz Zaka, Kalim Ilyas, additional advocate general Anwar Hussain and Forest Department's officials were the other members of the commission directed by the court to examine hunting of the rare birds as well as the protection of bio-diversity in the country.
Only a dozen have ever been seen in Britain, so it came as something of a shock when the twitchers witnessed the rare birds demise.
Both were released and face being prosecuted for their alleged attempts to steal the rare birds' eggs.
It is claimed the rare birds are being targeted because they prey on valuable game bird stocks.