• Diane M Kellogg

The Birds of Halloween!

Updated: Oct 31, 2019



Before I start, I have to inform you, I have taken license here and may be referring to the bat as a bird, for purposes of Halloween!



So we shall begin with crows and ravens. How often they appear in literature and movies, they have gained a reputation they most likely do not deserve. One shivers recalling scenes from movies like Hitchcock's The Birds and who doesn't remember The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. We tend to portray them in our paintings as the villians of Halloween.

The truth is far from that... crows and ravens come from the same genus, with over 40 species. The larger are ravens, the mid-size are crows and the smaller ones are jackdaws, they even have a relative known as the rook. A group of crows is called a murder. They are social birds and very smart. They remember faces and can hold grudges. So be nice!





Next up, the owl. He has made an appearance in our birds of Winter and now he appears in the Halloween edition. With over 200 species there are bound to be many to choose from. Owls are nocturnal, which makes them perfect for Halloween. Being quiet in flight also adds to the spooky factor. A group of owls is called a parliament, no wonder we think of them as wise. Often heard more often then seen in movies, their appearance there often sends a chill.




The third bird in our tale is the vulture. Perhaps my favorite 'movie' experience is from a ride, where Disney portrays them in the Splash Mountain attraction. They are appropriately clothed and perhaps a little evil, just enough to make you worry about what's coming next.

Quite often portrayed as the bad guy, especially in cartoons, they tend to be a favorite of artists. There re 23 species, with some on the endangered lists. A group is called a committee unless they are feeding, then they are called a wake.




Which brings us to our final flying creature, not a bird at all, but rather the only flying mammal we know of. Ranging in size from the Bumble Bee bat, weighing up to two grams to Flying Fox bat, with wingspans up to six feet, they have a varied size range. A group is called a colony. While we may be terrorized by them, thanks to the many vampire movies and books that exist, we really need to lighten up. Bats are very beneficial, feeding on insects and pollinating over 300 species of fruit, they really do their bit for the ecology.



In conclusion, while we may fear some or all of these winged creatures, we truly do not need to. Have fun with painting these night time creatures for Halloween.


Smiles!


Photo Credit - All Photos - Pixabay.com

Sources

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/owl.html

http://mentalfloss.com/article/504722/12-fascinating-facts-about-crows

https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/birds/facts-about-vultures/

https://www.doi.gov/blog/13-facts-about-bats

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