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Fledgling Grace Birds (Part 3 of 4) - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Fledgling Grace Birds (Part 3 of 4)

Here are more birds from the Fledgling Grace series.  Begin with Part 1, Part 2.  Skip to Part 4.




Jardine's parrot -- mentioned in "The Poi Bird" and "The Wingdresser's Kitchen."  Parrots in general are mentioned in "Devil's Advocate" and "Swish."  These parrots have wing feathers of dark green to black edged in brighter green, with vivid orange caps on the shoulders.

This manifestation prevails among the people of Ghana in Africa.

Sheba, the protagonist of "The Wingdresser's Kitchen," has these wings.

The protagonist of "The Poi Bird" has green Jardine's parrot secondaries from Africa on the left, although the base pattern for the wings is the white dove of England.

Michael Jordan is described with parrot wings in "Swish."

Lesser spotted eagle -- mentioned in "Brothers and Cousins" and "Picking and Pecking."  They have large broad wings that fan into like fingers at the ends and a broad fan of tailfeathers.  They are primarily a chocolate brown with some mottling.  The upper sides of the wings have a spotty row of white on the feathers where the coverts join the flight feathers.  The undersides of the wings are lighter tan barred with dark brown.

These wings are found most often in Hungary, and occasionally among Ashkenazi Jews.  They are somewhat common.

Little brown bat -- mentioned in "Devil's Advocate."  This is a bat rather than a bird.  They have large broad wings and a pointed tail flap, looking almost like a V in flight.  The membranes are dark brown to gray.

The busker in "Devil's Advocate" has the wings of a little brown bat, with tiny claws rather than the larger demonic talons typical of most fledermäuse.

Manx shearwater -- mentioned in "Merlin's Return."  Manx shearwaters have stiff straight wings with black upper sides and white undersides.  The tail is short and squarish.  

These wings primarily correlate to the Isle of Man, secondarily to Wales, and beyond that wherever the diaspora has taken them.  Manx shearwaters are also somewhat associated with fishermen and wanderers.

Mediterranean horseshoe bat -- mentioned in "Fledermäuse."  The wing membrane has crescent edges between the fingers, and there is not much tail membrane, giving this bat a scalloped silhouette in the sky.  They are typically fawn-red on top and tawny-yellow underneath. 

The Pope gains demon wings based on this bat, with the fawn-red dorsal side brightened to crimson and the tawny-yellow ventral side a vivid sulphur.

Merlin -- mentioned in "Merlin's Return" and "Devil's Advocate."  Merlins are small falcons.  Their slender, pointed wings are blue-grey above and buff to almost orange streaked with brown or black underneath.  The blue-grey tail has darker bands, with a thick black band toward the tip and a very narrow white band at the end.

These wings are associated with bards -- the storytellers, musicians, and wizards of Celtic lore.  They correlate primarily with Wales, but also appear in other Celtic territory and descendants.  Contemporary manifestations affect storytellers, musicians, wanderers, artists; the most gifted and free-hearted bohemians of Celtic affinity.  This wing type is rare.

"Devil's Advocate" mentions that "Word said there was a merlin downtown, a storyteller, but she had never heard him personally."

Moa -- mentioned in "Like the Vapor-Ghosts of Hiroshima."  These birds had wings with silky hairlike feathers of dark bronze or black, speckled with white.

Moa wings prevail among the largest of the Maori iwi,  the Ngāi Tahu from the South Island of New Zealand.

Northern cardinal -- mentioned in "Cardinal Feathers" and "Hen-Feathered."  Male cardinals have scarlet wings, sometimes with a grayish or brownish tint.  Females are buff to caramel streaked with bright red-brown on the wings and tail.  The tail is long and slim with a squarish tip when closed.  Both wings and tail are rounded when open.

These wings correlate to religion and spirituality, although most of them have emerged in Europe or North America.  They first appeared among Catholic cardinals, followed by lower ranked clergymen and nuns, laypeople in the congregations, and even a few individuals not associated with the church.  All of them have been good, honest people full of love and fellowship.  This is an extremely rare manifestation.

Painted bunting -- mentioned in "Cherubim and Seraphim."  This species is sexually dimorphic.  Males have brilliantly colored wings in a mix of yellow, red, purple, green, blue.  The flight feathers and tail feathers are duller shades of brown or gray but typically have streaks or overtones of any of the brighter colors.  Exact coloration varies significantly across individuals.  Females are green, ranging from olive to apple to a bright yellow-green.  The wings are short and rounded.  The tail is blunt and when slightly spread it shows a shallow notch in the center.  

This manifestation prevails among the Osage tribe and other natives of the Osage plains.

The first seraph (female) mentioned in "Cherubim and Seraphim" has lower wings, one on each ankle, of a painted bunting.

Palestine sunbird -- mentioned in "Picking and Pecking."  These birds are sexually dimorphic.  Males have dark feathers sheened with metallic blue and green, and hidden just where the wings join the shoulders, a tiny spot of vermillion.  Females are drab brownish-gray. The wings and tail are short and blunt.

This manifestation appears across Israel, among both Jews and Palestinians.

Pallid swift -- mentioned in "Cohanim."  Pallid swifts are not actually pale, just a bit lighter than some other swifts, a dark sooty color.  The long, narrow wings can form a distinct rear-facing crescent in flight.  The tail is sharply pointed when closed but can open to a lyre shape.

This is one of the more typical manifestations for Jews, whose historic roots reach back to the Fertile Crescent.  It occasionally appears among other populations hosting a Jewish community.  Jews tend to manifest the wings of migrant species, whereas most other groups manifest resident species.

Peafowl -- mentioned in "The Poi Bird" and "Picking and Pecking."  These birds are sexually dimorphic.  The peacock has a stupendous tail of metallic green and gold feathers decorated with eyespots of black, blue, purple, and gold.  The long feathers open into a huge fan.  The wings have a line of green-gold at the base where they join the back.  The shoulders of the wings are a mottled tan.  The secondaries and part of their coverts are black, reaching up toward the leading edge, sometimes with metallic blue mixed in.  The primaries and their coverts on the ends of the wings are a rather bright ginger to cinnamon.  The wings are large and rounded, with the pinions spreading out like fingers.  Peahens vary: some are a mottled brown or flat gray, while others have some green or gold feathers and a few are quite brightly if simply clad in metallic blue and green similar to their mates but without the fancy tail.  A peahen's tail is a large half-circle.  When flying her wings point forward, forming a C shape.

Peacock plumage is associated with Iraq.  It prevails among the Yazidi people with their lore about the Peacock Angel.  It symbolizes questioning authority, self-respect, and the choice of good over evil.

Peacock plumage sometimes appears among Muslims, perhaps relating to lore about peacocks having been created from the light of Muhammed or guarding the gates of Paradise.  In this case it carries the connotation of being beautiful or admirable, and yet still a humble servant of God.  (This clashes dramatically with European conceptualization of the peacock as a symbol of inordinate pride.)

This manifestation occasionally occurs among Jews, mostly in Iraq or Israel or other parts of the Middle East.

The protagonist of "The Poi Bird" has in the center of his tail a few peacock eyes from Iraq.

Persian wheatear -- mentioned in "Picking and Pecking."  They are grayish-tan with a black tail tipped in reddish-brown.  The wings and tail are short and blunt.

This manifestation is widespread across the land once belonging to the Persian Empire, among Jews and others.

Pigeon -- mentioned in "Dark Triangles," "Dancing Down the Sky," "The Wingdresser's Kitchen," "Silkies," and "Devil's Advocate."  Doves and pigeons belong to the family Columbidae  and the terms are vaguely defined; smaller birds tend to be called doves and larger ones pigeons.  When spread, the wings almost form a crescent and the tail fans out into a triangle.  The most frequent manifestation is the rock dove or feral rock pigeon, typically a combination of gray and black with purple iridescence, but it can be almost any neutral color(s).  Solid pigeon wings of white, cream, or pale gray are fairly common.

Pigeons and doves alike are associated with England, France, and through them much of the rest of Europe and America.  Thus they are common, widespread wing manifestations.  They tend to be pale shades of cream, buff, or silver-gray.  Wings with lighter colors and fewer markings appear more often among the upper classes -- or wherever they have sown their wild oats.  Bold patched or speckled patterns, stronger iridescence, and other eye-catching features of domestic or feral pigeons appear more often among urbanites, leaning toward the middle and working classes.

Purple crowned lorikeet -- mentioned in "Like a Cocky on a Biscuit Tin."  Purple crowned lorikeets have short pointed wings and a longer pointed tail.  The wings are feathered in light shades of blue, green, and yellow on top with large crimson patches on the underwings.  Females lack the crimson underwings.  The green tail has tufts of orange-red at the base of the laterals and a yellow underside.  

These wings correlate to the Pindjarup tribe, near Perth in Western Australia.  They prevail there and occasionally appear among neighboring tribes.


[To be concluded in Part 4 ...]

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