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night-raven — “The,” MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, ii. 3. 77. “That is,” says Steevens, “the owl, νυκτικόραχ;” which assertion, as far as “owl” is concerned, is at variance with sundry passages in our early writers, who make a distinction between it and the night-raven; e.g.
“And after him owles and night-ravens flew.”
Spenser's Faerie Queene, B. ii. C. vii. st. 23. “The dismall cry of night-ravens . . . and the fearefull sound of schrich-owles.” Johnson's Seven Champions of Christendom, Part First, sig. D, ed. 4to, n. d. Cotgrave regards the “ night-crow” and the “night-raven” as synonymous:“A night-crow. Corbeau de nuict.” “The night-rauen. Corbeau du nuict.” Fr. and Engl. Dict. So did that eminent naturalist the late Mr. Yarrell, who considered them as only different names for the nightheron, nycticorax, and who, in consequence of some talk which I had with him on the subject, wrote to me as follows, Sept. 21, 1854: “The older authors called it [the night-heron] a raven, in reference probably to the word corax; and by Shakespeare it was called a crow, because corax is a corvus.”

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