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The Natural History of Birds

November 14th, 2008

Daniel Pontius

1. Swallow tailed flycatcher. 2. Arkansas flycatcher. 3. Say’s flycatcher. 4. Female golden crested wren. 

“Birds are very frequently used to symbolize human souls, some of the earliest examples being found in the art of ancient Egypt… Generally speaking, birds, like angels, are symbols of thought, of imagination and of the swiftness of spiritual processes and relationships….Thus, Odo of Tusculum, describes in his sermon XCII, different kinds of spirituality in men in terms of the characteristics of different kinds of birds. Some birds he says, are guileless, such as the dove; others, cunning like the partridge; some come to the hand, like the hawk, others flee from it, like the hen; some enjoy the company of men, like the swallow; others prefer solitude and the desert, like the turtle dove….” (p.46)

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