Birds have been important symbols in our art and culture for thousands of years. They have inspired poets and painters, and feature in many place names and legends. In this book, Niall Mac Coitir draws together the mythology, legends and folklore of Ireland’s birds, both wild and domestic. The birds are presented in seasonal order based on their migratory habits (the cuckoo and summer) or on their cultural associations (the robin with Christmas). He also explores how birds are often powerful symbols of various virtues and qualities, such as the goose, which is a symbol of watchfulness and bravery. This challenges us to look at birds in a different way, as dynamic creatures that have influenced our society over the millennia. Written with imagination and enthusiasm, this mix of natural history, mythology and folklore will delight and enlighten all interested in the birds of Ireland.
Niall Mac Coitir grew up in a bilingual environment in Dublin with a love of Irish history, culture and nature instilled into him. An active member of the Irish Wildlife Trust, he works for Fingal County Council. His previous books are Irish Trees - Myths, Legends and Folklore (2003), Irish Wild Plants - Myths, Legends & Folklore (2006), and Ireland’s Animals - Myths, Legends & Folklore (2010).