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A piece of erroneous ‘natural history’ once common was that if a dried kingfisher is hung up indoors, it swings round till the beak points towards the quarter from which the wind is blowing. ‘The belief still survives among the credulous,’ remarked one observer (N&Q 7s:12 (1891), 218), and Edward Lovett saw one in use in Arundel (Sussex) in the 1920s which supposedly turned one way in fine weather, and the other way during rain (Lovett, 1928: 26).

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