It's worth noting that vampire ground nuthatches, a different species, have a tendency to feed on blood. They are found in the Galapagos Islands, where they extract blood from other birds, primarily Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies, when alternative food sources such as seeds and insects are scarce.
In Guo Pu's Xuanzhongji, the Gu Huo Bird is said to emerge during the night, appearing as a bird while adorned with feathers, and then transforming into a woman by shedding its plumage. It goes by several names, including the Maiden of the Celestial Empire and the Nocturnal Wanderer. Interestingly, this bird doesn't give birth to its own offspring; instead, it specializes in adopting the chicks of other birds as its own.
There exists a peculiar belief that if a young child's clothing is left outside to dry at night, the Gu Huo Bird will leave a bloodstain as a sign, and the child will be taken away by the bird. This is why people often refer to it as a "ghost bird." Consequently, it is customary not to hang out the clothes of young children at night to avoid this supposed fate.
In addition to these legends, it's said that the Ghost Bird has a penchant for collecting people's clipped nails, which it uses to gain insights into their misfortunes. If the bird identifies someone who is destined for calamity, it would land on that person's roof and chirp, as documented in Ling biao lu yi, vol.
Seagulls - A Surprising Scare
In Ireland, seagulls are the subject of various folktales, with common belief suggesting that they are the spirits of drowned men. These birds hold a prominent place in Irish culture, and sailors would treat them with reverence and respect, particularly while out at sea. It was believed that showing this dignity to seagulls was essential during fishing expeditions, as it honored the spirits of those who had met a watery fate.
In contrast, in West African traditions, different tribes followed a custom of tying a bird to a deceased person and then sacrificing it. This practice was rooted in the belief that the bird would serve as a guide to carry the soul of the departed individual to the underworld. By killing the bird, it was thought that the spirit or soul of the bird would be liberated, allowing it to carry out its duties more effectively in aiding the departed soul's journey to the afterlife. This ritual was a means of ensuring the smooth passage of the deceased to the next realm.
As the chilly winds of Spooky Season start to rustle the leaves, and we prepare to gather by the flickering firelight for eerie tales, let's take a captivating flight into the mysterious world of bird myths and legends. While we're ardent fans of birds (naturally!), you may not be aware that these feathered creatures have been both a source of fascination and fear in human history for centuries. Join us as we unravel the enigmatic stories that have woven birds into the intricate tapestry of Halloween.
And speaking of birds
, if you're as enamored with these winged wonders as we are, why not bring a piece of their world into yours? Explore Birdfy's range of bird feeders, perfect for your backyard, and get ready to create your own enchanting bird stories this season. Happy Halloween and happy birdwatching!