Doves and Pigeons


Image copyright: Columba Oenas, Stock Dove; Jim Gifford via Wikimedia Commons.

Doves are generally known as birds of peace; the bearer of the olive branch at the end of the flood. The great thing about researching my book of magical birds, is finding juxtapositions to commonly held beliefs. I found today, that in some Southern American States, the sound of doves cooing was thought to portent bad luck or black magic. Furthermore, one could not chase the birds away, as this may anger the witch who had sent them.

The Journal of American Folklore tells us that wood-pigeons are a sign of either ill or good fortune- not very helpful, I grant you! Apparently the sounds it makes will foretell the outcome of your endeavours. Sadly, it’s not clear which sounds herald good news.

Another tale tells of how a wood pigeon ‘wailed’ whilst Jesus was dying on the cross,  trying to alleviate his agony with its song. Cheery.

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