Superstitions about Birds
Last Modified: 15/10/2019
A woman explains how people see birds as either being good luck or bad luck.
- 1Certain birds are, more often than not, considered bad luck,...
- 2...or even a sign of impending death.
- 3For example, all over the world, both crows and ravens have some connection to war, and death.
- 4In early times, crows and ravens were thought to accompany the gods of war,...
- 5...or be signs of the gods' approaching arrival.
- 6This idea later changed.
- 7Crows in particular were thought to be harbingers of ill fortune...
- 8...or, in some cases, guides to the afterlife.
- 9Woe be it to the person who saw a single crow or raven flying overhead,...
- 10...for this was most certainly a portent of death in the near future.
- 11Interestingly, though potentially bad luck for people individually,...
- 12...the raven is considered to be good luck for the crown of England.
- 13So much so, in fact, that a "raven master" is, even today, an actual government position in London.
- 14He takes care of the ravens there and also clips their wings,...
- 15...ensuring that these birds can never fly far from the seat of the British government.
- 16This way, the kingdom will never fall to ill fortune.
- 17Another bird that is thought to play a part in forecasting the fortunes of people is the swallow.
- 18Depending on how and when it is seen,...
- 19...the swallow can be a harbinger of either good or ill fortune.
- 20Perhaps inspired by the swallow's red-brown breast,...
- 21...Christian people initially related the swallow to the death of Jesus Christ.
- 22Thus, people who saw a swallow fly through their house considered it a portent of death.
- 23Later, however, farmers began to consider swallows signs of good fortune.
- 24Any barn that has swallows living in it is sure to be blessed in the following year.
- 25Farmers also have to beware of killing a swallow;...
- 26...that would be certain to end any good luck they might have had.
- 27Though many people think these superstitions are old wives' tales,...
- 28...there is actually some evidence to support them.
- 29For example, crows and ravens, being scavengers, appear at the aftermath of battles.
- 30Thus, large numbers of crows and ravens could be good indications of war in an area.
- 31As well, swallows feed on insects that can cause infections in cattle.
- 32Thus, a farmer who has many swallows in his barn may actually have healthier animals on his farm.
- 33Therefore, the next time you feel inclined to laugh at an old wives' tale,...
- 34...maybe you had better find out if there is any truth to it first