Good Omens of Birds
The folklore or superstitions of every tribe or nation vary yet at the core they are similar. Periodically I shall post a light hearted approach to a broad range of superstitions and omens. The predominant focus will be only on the aspects of good: lucky omens, good superstitions, or superstitions that are cautionary. The nasty, scary aspects will be excluded or glossed over so as not to disturb anyone’s peace of mind.
Birds will be the first topic of exploration. We encounter them often enough. And who doesn’t love birds? Incredibly enough, the word “auspice” meaning an omen or prognostication is actually derived from the Latin word that means “an observer of birds”. So here’s our first superstition:
Omens regarding the direction of a bird’s flight:
If you spot a bird or birds on your right, it is considered an auspicious sign. Consequently, to see bird or birds flying from the left hand side to the right, across the path of the observer, is considered fortunate.
Should the bird or birds fly straight at you, it means they will bring you good luck (windfall, blessings etc.) with them. Also if a bird sings or utters a cry as it flies, it is regarded as an auspicious omen.
The height at which the birds are flying is also significant. The greater the height, the more favourable the outcome.
If a bird or flock of birds suddenly change direction in mid flight, and you see this, you must be on your guard against danger or surprise attack by your adversary. If the bird hovers while on wing, be alert against perfidy.
Some Lucky Birds
Rooster: If a single girl hears a cock crowing at same time as she is thinking of her sweetheart it is considered as good luck.
Cuckoo: To hear the call on the right side means pending prosperity.
Dove: This bird is considered the emblem of Venus “The Goddess of Love”; hence it signifies love, happiness and wedded bliss.
Duck: To hear a duck quacking is a most fortunate omen, indicating the coming of prosperity. If you see a duck fly it is also a good sign particularly for those who are troubled or sad. They are therefore a most welcome sight dotting our shorelines, ponds and parks.
Eagle: Most definitely a lucky sign. The eagle has always been an important representative of power and might. Warriors and nations of old and new have always adapted this bird as an emblem. In the Roman Empire the eagle symbolized the supreme power of Jupiter who was therefore depicted accompanied by an eagle.
Goose: We all love them but, unfortunately, ever since Roman times when the Romans were warned by goose honking against the barbarian’s silent raid on the Capital, Goose calls have been synonymous with danger or of the advent of secret enemies. So if you hear them be cautious in the next few days.
Gulls: If sea-gulls settle on any part of a ship in which a person is travelling or about to travel, he may anticipate a happy and fortunate journey.
Peacock: It is also a bird sacred to Jupiter and in ancient times it was also associated with Juno, Queen of the Heavens; hence to see a peacock is a happy omen. If the peacock spreads out his tail before you, happiness and prosperity is assured. On the other hand, it is considered unlucky to bring a peacock’s tail feathers into the house as they are considered to represent an evil eye.
Pigeon: A white pigeon spotted flying around a house foretells of an impending engagement or marriage in the near future by one of the inhabitants of the house.
Quail: To see on either side or to hear a quail calling is considered fortunate.
Raven: Observing a raven perched on the right, or flying away on the right is regarded as an auspicious sign. This does not apply if the bird flies from left to right across a person’s path. On the whole the Raven is considered to be an ill-omened bird.
Robin: A robins sighted near a house or in a garden presages good fortune for the inhabitants of the house.
Stork: A most auspicious bird. In several countries the stork is actually encouraged to nest on the roof of the house. In Sweden the stork is considered to be a sacred bird because they believe that when the Christ was being crucified a stork flew round emitting cries of distress.
Swallow: It is considered a most fortunate bird as it symbolizes spring and renewal, revival, rebirth and awakening. To spot a swallow in the early springtime is considered a most fortunate sign. If swallows build their nest in the eaves of a house it forecasts success, happiness and good fortune for all who dwell within that house.
Wagtail: Spotting a wagtail is a lucky omen, especially if the bird is advancing towards you from the left side.
Woodpecker: An auspicious bird. Encountering one foretells definite success.
Wren: Sighting this little bird brings a promise of good fortune.