Birds of Somerset

By: J Nighteagle

 

 

 

The old folks tell that crows are harbingers of evil, for if one is seen flying alone, it betokens ill-luck and to see one perched in the path is a sign of wrath and dismay. Offer the crow respect when you see one, but by all costs, avoid crossing it’s path.

 

The screech of an owl is still heard with alarm: “the owl’s screech is a sound of death to the body.”

 

Cuckoos come in for there share of patronage, for when the cry of one is heard for the first time, it is usual to turn the money in the pocket and with children sing: Cuckoo, cuckoo, cherry tree, Catch a penny and give it to me.

 

The Robin is held in great veneration. To kill one is deemed unlucky. Before the death of a person, this bird is said to be seen tapping three times at the window.

 

The wren was sacred in the eyes of the Druids and therefore is also treated with great respect. The praises of both wren and robin are sung in the old couplet:   “The robin and the wren are God Almighty”s cock and hen.

 

 

 

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