What about the birds??

  1. o.k. i have a question that perhaps someone here can answer. i was talking with a friend and she has heard that native americans have a belief about black birds (crows?, ravens? i don't know) gathering when there is a death.

    a friend was driving into work and found her car surrounded by crows that just seemed to stay with the car. when she called home she discovered that a relative had just died.

    i also noticed that just after my cat died, there was a black bird that seemed to hang around in my yard for a few days, as though to keep me company. has never happened before.

    does anyone know anything more about this phenomenon? must admit i know nothing about native american spiritual beliefs but this fascinates me.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    I've heard more about the raven associated with death than the crow. On a tangent, I'm a big Counting Crows fan and I love the rhyme in one of their songs ("A Murder of One"):

    "It's one for sorrow
    Two for joy
    Three for girls and
    Four for boys
    Five for silver
    Six for gold
    Seven for secrets
    Never to be told"...

    I believe the band name is based on the old english divination rhyme about counting crows as a measure of supersitition. TheRaven's Aviary - Spirituality - Counting Rhymes
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" was based on that myth.

    Crows are attracted to shiny things for some reason such as a car or aluminum.

    The association with both Crows and Ravens were that legend says that they appear on the death of someone to carry their soul to the next world. It was considered a good omen if someone had already died, and a bad omen if someone was not expected to die.

    They are meat eaters, and the association with death may have to do with times when they are extra hungry and will scavange...but if there is live food available, that is also a choice of theirs.

    I heard somewhere long ago where they flock near, but not directly with, vultures, and that may also be an association of death.

    There is a very famous poem called "The Raven". Very entertaining. You can probably pull it up online.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've also heard that an owl flying over a house is a harbinger of death. It's probably only a superstition, but I've never been comfortable with the family of them that live in one of the tall pines in my front yard:........:uhoh21:
  6. by   weetziebat
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I've also heard that an owl flying over a house is a harbinger of death. It's probably only a superstition, but I've never been comfortable with the family of them that live in one of the tall pines in my front yard:........:uhoh21:
    Ahhh, perhaps we should steer clear of superstitions. My Irish mother had enough to make me shudder at least once a day. She told me that if a wild bird gets into your house and is flying around, it means a death.

    Last month, I heard this fluttering sound and then a bump. OMG! It was the smallest, most adorable birdie you'd ever want to see. My dd and her bf also had a bird in their house. I keep telling myself this is simply a silly superstition - and I keep trying to believe that.

    Now, a family of owls in your front yard? And hoping they don't fly over your home? Please feel free to join me. "It is only a silly superstition", "It is only a silly superstition", ...............

    And, BSNtobe2009, I love the poem 'The Raven'. Actually tried to memorize it in high school and almost did it. Not quite, but almost.

    With my friend, she was driving on a busy road and the crows stayed only around her car. Which she naturally found pretty disconcerting.

    So, is it just a myth?? Anyone know any more about this???
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from weetziebat
    Now, a family of owls in your front yard? And hoping they don't fly over your home? Please feel free to join me. "It is only a silly superstition", "It is only a silly superstition", ...............
    Yup, that's about it

    Actually, I worry more about bird bombs than anything else........they mess up the paint on our cars and leave ugly grey smears all over our picture windows. Ick.
  8. by   sirI
    Quote from weetziebat
    o.k. i have a question that perhaps someone here can answer. i was talking with a friend and she has heard that native americans have a belief about black birds (crows?, ravens? i don't know) gathering when there is a death.

    a friend was driving into work and found her car surrounded by crows that just seemed to stay with the car. when she called home she discovered that a relative had just died.

    i also noticed that just after my cat died, there was a black bird that seemed to hang around in my yard for a few days, as though to keep me company. has never happened before.

    does anyone know anything more about this phenomenon? must admit i know nothing about native american spiritual beliefs but this fascinates me.

    crow is known to play pranks especially for self-gain. the nai laughs at crow.

    but, in some tribal clans, crow is known to be the wise elder. a sage and giver of advice; a keeper of the law.

    and, yes, in some instances, crow can be equated with death. birds in general carry the soul to the final resting place, therefore, they are really spirit messengers. it is often said that crow "speaks" in many languages and only the wisest individual can interpret what crow is speaking. if one can interpret the words, one will be able to predict the arrival of a friend, when death comes, etc.

    a gathering of crows or flock is known as a murder of crows. this is seen in poetic literature more so than in the scientific community and nai do not have murder of crow in the language.
  9. by   weetziebat
    Quote from augigi
    I've heard more about the raven associated with death than the crow. On a tangent, I'm a big Counting Crows fan and I love the rhyme in one of their songs ("A Murder of One"):

    "It's one for sorrow
    Two for joy
    Three for girls and
    Four for boys
    Five for silver
    Six for gold
    Seven for secrets
    Never to be told"...

    I believe the band name is based on the old english divination rhyme about counting crows as a measure of supersitition. TheRaven's Aviary - Spirituality - Counting Rhymes
    I swear your message wasn't there when I first looked. Wouldn't have ignored it, had I seen it. It was fascinating reading about counting crows. At least they all agree that one crow is for sorrow - so I'll take that to mean the crow sitting in my yard after my cat's death was sharing my mourning. Thanks for the info :spin:

    Siri, so...can birds be looked at as messengers, say from a spirit, as well as coming to accompany a soul to its final resting place?
  10. by   sirI
    Hi, weetziebat!!!

    Yes, birds can go to and fro. Actually, birds not only carry the spirit to the final resting place, they also bring "seeds" of mankind back to earth.
  11. by   weetziebat
    Quote from siri
    Hi, weetziebat!!!

    Yes, birds can go to and fro. Actually, birds not only carry the spirit to the final resting place, they also bring "seeds" of mankind back to earth.
    Bless you. Now perhaps Marla and I can stop dreading birds as harbingers of death.
    By bringing seeds of mankind back to earth - what does that mean exactly? This is all fascinating. Imagine NAI beliefs differ greatly, considering all the different tribes. Are there many beliefs that they have in common?

    Ignorant but very interested.
    Last edit by weetziebat on Nov 28, '06
  12. by   sirI
    It is a very old story of how the life on earth began. I only can tell it short version and from memory from my grandmother.

    Water was and Earth was not. The animals and birds swam in Water.

    Above Water was the Great Tree in the sky. Four roots extended and reached North, South, East, West. One day, the Great Tree was uprooted and the Great Chief and his Wife, who was with child, looked down into the hole that remained. She slipped and grabbed hold of a limb as she fell through the hole. In her hand, she grasped only seeds from the limb. She fell below.

    Bird saw her falling and flew to catch Wife. She was saved on the wings of Swan. But, she could not swim and Bird said that they would have to swim down very deep and bring Earth to Wife. So, they did with the help of other animals. Finally, swimming deeply, Muskrat grabbed Earth and brought Her from below Water. Earth was placed on the back of Turtle.

    Earth grew and grew. Swan, with the help of many many Birds, brought Wife down to Earth. When Wife placed her feet on Earth, she dropped the seeds from her hand into the soil.

    Life on Earth began......
  13. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from weetziebat
    She told me that if a wild bird gets into your house and is flying around, it means a death.
    I've had many a wild bird in my house. Flying into the windows and walls. It sure is a task getting them out.


    This is a lovely topic. I've heard about the owls being associated with death. But for a while I've noticed a crow (or raven?) who always flies above me. Everytime I look out the window he's there-when I'm driving, walking, or shopping. I told someone about him once, and then he was gone. So now I keep him to myself. I consider him good luck.
  14. by   weetziebat
    Quote from siri
    It is a very old story of how the life on earth began. I only can tell it short version and from memory from my grandmother.

    Water was and Earth was not. The animals and birds swam in Water.

    Above Water was the Great Tree in the sky. Four roots extended and reached North, South, East, West. One day, the Great Tree was uprooted and the Great Chief and his Wife, who was with child, looked down into the hole that remained. She slipped and grabbed hold of a limb as she fell through the hole. In her hand, she grasped only seeds from the limb. She fell below.

    Bird saw her falling and flew to catch Wife. She was saved on the wings of Swan. But, she could not swim and Bird said that they would have to swim down very deep and bring Earth to Wife. So, they did with the help of other animals. Finally, swimming deeply, Muskrat grabbed Earth and brought Her from below Water. Earth was placed on the back of Turtle.

    Earth grew and grew. Swan, with the help of many many Birds, brought Wife down to Earth. When Wife placed her feet on Earth, she dropped the seeds from her hand into the soil.

    Life on Earth began......
    Siri, thank you so much for sharing this lovely tale. What a beautiful thought.
    So.......if birds can accompany a soul to its final resting place, and can also bring back the seeds of life, could their presence signify bringing seeds of a new beginning?

    CardiacRN2006, thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one with birds flying around indoors. It was kind of difficult to get the baby bird out - it was so frightened.
    I do believe animals are much 'closer' to us than we generally realize. I hope your crow comes back to you.

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