Tag: europe

Bird stories, Magpie (Pica pica) Part II

In Germany and the North witches often transform themselves into its shape, or use it as their steed. The peasants in Oldenburg consider the magpie to be so imbued with Satanic principles that if a cross be cut on the tree in which the bird has built, she will forsake her nest at once. When […]

Bird stories, Magpie (Pica pica) part I

For anglers in spring it is always unlucky to see single magpies ; hnt two may always be regarded as a favourable omen; and the reason is, that in cold and stormy weather one magpie alone leaves the nest in search of food, the other remaining sitting upon the eggs or the young ones ; […]

Bird stories, Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Alcyone, daughter of Eolus, the wind-god, impelled by love for her husband Ceyx, whom she found dead on the shore after a shipwreck, threw herself into the sea. The gods, rewarding their conjugal love, changed the pair into kingfishers. What connection exists between this, which is simply a classic yarn, and the ancient theory of […]

Bird stories, Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus)

In Nepal the Mustangi Gurung believe that after hanging the head of Golden eagles and Lammergeier on the main entrance it is believed that the house is safe from evil. A dead Lammergeier corpse and intestine is also an effective medicine for the treatment of diarrhea for the local people and this is still believed […]

Bird stories, Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

In a Levant legend it is related that Solomon was once journeying across the desert, and was fainting with heat, when a large flock of hoopoes came to his assistance and by flying between the sun and the monarch formed an impenetrable cloud with their wings and bodies. Grateful for their ready help, Solomon asked […]

Bird stories, Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

The Bohemians declare that the heron warns men of their danger when lost in the marshes, and endeavours by her cry to lead them to a safe place. It is said in Ireland that small eels pass through the intestines of a, heron uninjured, so that it swallows the same individual several times in succession. […]