Friday, February 15, 2008

Chickadees for Valentines

Ted Andrews in his book on animals writes about a folk belief that the first bird you see on Valentine's Day will predict who you will marry. If you see a blackbird, you'll marry a minister; a dove, a good-hearted man; a goldfinch, a rich man; a sparrow, a happy man; a crossbill, an arugmentative man; a robin, a sailor; a bluebird, a happy man; a hawk, a soldier; an owl, a man who will die soon. If you see a woodpecker, you will never marry. This sounds like 19th century British folklore to me, though he doesn't give the source.

The first birds I saw this Valentine's day were chickadees, a whole flock of them in the holly bush outside my apartment building. I'm not sure what it means. Perhaps it means that I will find my flock, the group where I feel like I belong. That would be wonderful since I usually feel like an outsider around groups.

While searching on the Internet for some possible folkloric meaning of chickadees, I found this wonderful site which features a chickadee dictionary. (It also features Signs of Spring: tulips are up all over the country and the first robin has been sighted in many places. I haven't seen one yet here in Seattle, although I saw the first robin on February 9 in 2005.) I like knowing that chickadees have a call they use when they're separated from their flock which means "I'm here! I'm here! I'm here!"

1 comment:

Alissa said...

I saw a robin yesterday! I'm already married, though.

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