Excerpt from Chambers's Pocket Miscellany, Vol. 23
Amongst the feathered tribes there are also numerous traces of comicality. The choler of the turkey-cock never fails to excite mirth. Domesticated ravens come to enter into the humours of the families they live with, and some times 'prove amazingly funny. The whole race of parrots is amusing. Not altogether mechanical is that power they have of repeating droll expressions, under the instruction of human masters and mistresses. By timing their jokes, they often shew that they enjoy them. This tribe, as well as the monkeys and mocking-birds, is unquestionably possessed of that same power of imitation which men employ to the excitement of mirth in mimicry and comic theatricals. The mocking-bird is the very Monsieur Alexandre of American ornithology. It can simulate the cry of almost all birds, and the name we give it expresses the purposes for which it employs the gift. One of its favourite waggeries, as is well known, is to gather other birds near it by imitating their cries, and then to disperse them, like a set of school-boys at the approach of the master, by uttering the cry of the bird of which they stand most in fear.
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