Anthropomorphism with Birds

I came to think about birds when looking at a book titled “You Can’t Send a Duck to Eagle School” and realized how many human qualities or attribute we associate with birds. Birds seem to lend themselves to be caricatures of humans. Without digging hard, I just wrote down this list:

  • Eagle – leadership, doesn’t flock, soaring, vision, nobility, honor
  • Duck – awkward, dull
  • Flamingo – gay, flamboyant
  • Crow – cunning, smart, eerie
  • Parrot – smart, funny, cooky, clownish in a Stephen King sort of way
  • Dove – mother, home, loyal, nurturing
  • Ostrich – dumb, bumbling
  • Chicken – eggs, farmyard, barefoot, hay barn
  • Seagull – stunts, daring, hunter
  • Pelican – watch me fly, watch me, just watch me
  • Egret – hunting, fishing, recreation, mountain biking
  • Vulture – wisdom, old man, ugly, ghoulish
  • Canary – plaything, toy, child
  • Sparrow – plain, working class, VW bug
  • Goose – soldier, watchdog, aggressive
  • Peacock – aristocrat, Porsche driver, actor
  • Turkey – Amish, pilgrim, religious, heartland
  • Owl – mysterious, secretive, vicious
  • Hummingbird – symphony, artist, dancer
  • Woodpecker – works at Ace Hardware, lumberjack, hillbilly
  • Swallow – NASCAR driver, Olympic skater, athlete
  • Swan – King Louis the 14th, stately, rich, not much good for anything
  • Roadrunner – funny, fast, cartoonish, Native American

After writing this list down almost effortlessly, I am amazed at the variety of drastically different birds with obviously different personalities, and I just stayed right on the surface.

Where did this all come from, just from thinking about eagles and ducks?

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