Archive for the ‘Bird Traditions’ Category

Michael Warren’s Interview on his book _Birds in Medieval English Poetry_

The Compleat Birder

Bit of a cheat post this one, but Boydell and Brewer have recently published an interview they conducted with me on my book, Birds in Medieval English Poetry, so thought I’d share it. Click here, or simply read the text below.

Thank you for assisting our discussion of your book, Dr Warren. To begin, could you tell us a little about how you came to write this book, which is now the second in our new series Nature and Environment in the Middle Ages. What first drew you to the natural world in literature? 
When I decided to return to medieval studies after some years in teaching, it was an obvious choice for me to pursue a subject that combined a personal love of mine with literature. I knew that there was plenty to say about birds, in fact, because I’d written on this subject for my…

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Pelican in a Book of Hours

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Birds of Prey at Warwick Castle

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Egyptian Vulture

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Milky Eagle Owl
(young)

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Andean Condor
(10-foot wingspan!)

See part of the falconer’s display!

Andean Condors

Birds at Omi’s House

Omi's Birds

Birds and Birth, Pregnancy and Poultry

Birds and BIrth

On the Ostrich Egg

WingedWonders“The ostrich egg itself, being the largest known to humans, became a symbol of the creation, for many belief systems have the Primal Egg as the source of all things created. So also by association it became a symbol of fertility and of the hidden nature of life before it becomes visible at birth. Philo made a direct relation between this idea and the roasted egg eaten by Jews as part of the Passover meal, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and their rebirth as a nation. It was also the rebirth of the year at springtime.

The Easter egg is a continuation of this, symbolizing the burial and resurrection of Jesus, a new birth and new creation. From the Middle Ages, church inventories mentioned placing an ostrich egg on the altar at Easter and other holy days. Today in Coptic churches this is still the practice. In the Spanish city of Burgos, in the cathedral, an ostrich egg is placed at the feet of the crucified Christ.”

Peter Watkins and Jonathan Stockland
Winged Wonders: A Celebration of Birds in Human History (p. 90)