10 Superstitions About Birds

Birdcalls Can Mean Plenty
Superstition holds that birdsong holds the secret to understanding the world. Ger Bosma/Getty Images

Before the creation of the Internet and round-the-clock news networks, people had little to work with in terms of gaining information or making predictions about future conditions. To make a little more sense out of life, and perhaps in attempt to gain control, people living centuries ago simply learned to take cues from nature, including the calls and sounds of birds.

Legend has it that a songbird that cries while flying brings good luck, while a night bird calling by day – or a bird of prey screaming at any time of day – signifies poor fortune. Superstitious folks also derive information from the direction that birdcalls travel: Calls from the north mean tragedy, while calls from the south mean a successful harvest. Birdcalls from the east are good for romance, while calls from the west offer all-around good luck.

Of course, all bets are off when it comes to crow calls, which always spell bad news, no matter what direction they're traveling – unless the crow happens to be near its nest. If it caws three times in a row, beware: It's a sign that death is on the way [source: The Diagram Group].