Birds: Myth, Lore and Legend

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Aug 25, 2016 - Nature - 304 pages
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Why are owls regarded either as wise or as harbingers of doom? What gave rise to the fanciful belief that storks bring babies? Why is the eagle associated with victory or the hummingbird with paradise?
The answers are here in this new and engaging book. By re-telling the many legends, beliefs, proverbs and predictions associated with more than 80 birds from many nations, it brings into focus the close – and often ancient – links between humans and these remarkable feathered descendants of dinosaurs. Discover, for instance:
Why the cockerel features on many church spires
The one sacred bird that symbolises life and peace in most cultures
How to dispel bad luck if you see this black-and-white bird
The South-American 'devil bird' once thought to be a dragon
Birds: lore, myth and legend draws on historical accounts and scientific literature to reveal how colourful tales or superstitions were shaped by human imagination from each bird's behaviour or appearance. It offers an enchanting and different perspective on birds across the world.
 

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Contents

The Wonder of Birds
8
Birds and Us
10
Sacred to the Gods
86
Myths of Many Nations
164
For Good and Ill
230
Index
300
Bibliography
303
Picture Credits
304
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Marianne Taylor has written many books on natural history subjects including British Birds of Prey, Owls, Dragonflight and Wild Coast for Bloomsbury.

Rachel Warren-Chadd is a journalist and editor who has long been interested in myths and legends. Subjects have included the exotic pets (including llamas and lions) kept by Manhattan residents and covert rituals (known as Santerķa) in parts of the Caribbean community.

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