Species: Several, most importantly seagull (Larus argentatus) and cuckoo (Cuculus canorus).
Source: Two Old English lyric elegies: ‘The Seafarer’ and ’The Wanderer’.
Date: Seafarer c.850, Wanderer c.900 AD. (Klinck, 1992:13-21)
Highlights: Tolkien’s totally stole the idea of “sea-longing” from medieval poetry.
Now I’m not saying Tolkien was a sneaking-snaking-snarer who purposefully snuck medieval literature into his stories to educate people, but, well, they didn’t call him Professor for nothing.
Photograph by Julian Nitzsche CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Posted in Birds, English
Tagged 10th century, 9th century, civilisation vs nature, coastland, cuckoo, ecosensitive approach, elegy, folkloric approach, heroic age, linguistic drift, literary approach, medieval vision, middle earth, modern, nature is a moral guide, nature is a pest, nature is a texture, ocean, Old English, Seagull, sermon, The Seafarer, The Wanderer, tolkien
Species mentioned: Two bloodthirsty white tailed (sea) eagles (H. albicilla).
Source: ‘Canu Heledd’, a depressing but beautiful Welsh cycle of poetry.
Date of Source: Most likely c.850-900 A.D. but uncertain. Manuscript date: 1250.
Highlights: eagles eat the carrion of dead soldiers. Two eagles in particular seem to embody the genius loci (spirit of the place) where they live. They are seen in coastal woods, eating carrion and fish like real life sea eagles.
Posted in Birds, British, Welsh
Tagged battlefield, beasts of battle, ecosensitive approach, elegy, englynion, extinction, heroes as animals, hierarchy of birds, literary approach, persecution, saga poetry, scavengers