THE BELLED BUZZARD
AGED BUZZARD THOUGHT DEAD
Bird, Marked in War of 1812, Present at Every Big Engagement Since Then.
The famous “belled buzzard,” known to be more than one hundred years old, is believed to be dead. A few days ago it was seen on the farm of W. H. Leach, near the mouth of Second creek, West Virginia. It looked to be greatly emaciated and ready to give up its widely-known career.
This buzzard has a small sleigh bell tied around its neck, which was said to have been placed there during the war of 1812. The bird had wars as its hobby, and is said to have been present at every battle of size north of the equator. It has been seen as far south as Peru, although its summers were generally spent in the mountains of West Virginia. During the Mexican trouble, several years ago, it spent two consecutive summers on the border.
Members of the Leach family saw the bird flying low, with a number of other buzzards accompanying it. It was noticed that the bird had got its beak fastened behind the leather strap which supported the bell, and seemed unable to release itself. An attempt was made to release the buzzard’s head, but it became frightened and flew away. It is felt certain that the bird has since died.
* * *
TWO YEARS LATER…
Marlington, W. Va.—The far-famed “belled” buzzard has been seen again. Superstitious residents fear a disaster is imminent, in which there will be a great loss of life. They point to past occasions when the buzzard made its appearance, which were followed by calamities. Local history has it that the buzzard was captured and belled by pioneer residents shortly after the War of 1812. Residents are afraid to shoot it.
From— Warren sheaf. (Warren. Marshall County, Minn.), 13 Oct. 1920. & The Jasper news. (Jasper, Mo.), 21 Sept. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.