Bird Watching in Brittany

Bonjour From Brittany

Birds once enjoyed a rather colourful position in the folklore of Brittany. They were often attributed with many marvellous qualities, from guarding the gates of Heaven to doing the bidding of witches. However, it was their capacity for predicting the future that bestowed these creatures with such noted significance in the mind of the Breton peasant who looked upon the flight and calls of birds as augurs from the natural world much as the ancient Druids might have done in antiquity.

In yesterday’s Brittany, certain birds were traditionally ascribed to the Devil but they were always inferior imitations of God’s creations. God was credited with the pigeon and the hen while the Devil countered with the magpie and the crow. It is clear from the old saying and proverbs that the Bretons once attributed birds with quite particular characteristics. The wren was said to think highly of itself, believing itself…

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