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Yardbird is a word that has had several informal meanings.
In the Deep South of the United States, yardbird is a colloquialism for the domestic chicken. In one explanation for American saxophonist Charlie Parker's nickname being "Yardbird", jazz trombonist and blues singer Clyde E. B. Bernhardt in his autobiography I Remember: Eighty Years of Black Entertainment, Big Bands, states:
[Parker] told me he got the name Yardbird because he was crazy about eating chicken: fried, baked, boiled, stewed, anything. He liked it. Down there in the South, all chickens are called yardbirds. Every house has some.
Jazz pianist Jay McShann backs up the story in an interview in 1999:
Naval vessels coming into port for maintenance would be 'descended upon' by crews in the port's maintenance yard. Hence, the ship's crew referred to them as "yardbirds".
"Yardbird" was the nickname given to two B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the United States Air Force that flew combat missions over Europe during the Second World War. Both bombers were based at RAF Molesworth in England, as part of the 303d Bombardment Group (Heavy): "Yardbird" (41-24602), piloted by captain John W. Farrar (360th Bombardment Squadron), was shot down by flak and German fighter aircraft on 29 May 1943, near Pleubian, France. "Yardbird II" (42-5620), piloted by 1st Lt. Paul S. Tippet (360th Bombardment Squadron), was shot down by two German fighter aircraft over the North Sea, returning from a successful raid over Emden, on 2 October 1943, with all eleven aboard killed in action. It was one of the group's most successful bombers having completed over 43 missions.
The Doepke Yardbird was a 1950s hand-cranked, rideable toy train.