Books of Interest — Bird Medicine

Bear & Company

Do birds talk to humans?

Delving into the relationship between Native Americans and the bird kingdom, NPR favorite Pritchard explores the communication between them and the “language” that they share. Long thought to be spiritual/oracular messengers, not only in Native tradition but throughout the history of humankind, the collective knowledge about the wisdom of birds makes a strong case for their intention to interact with us.

Scientists now say that birds predate humans here on earth, so it makes sense that they show up so often in creation myths, in burial mounds, as symbols of the soul, as “ferrymen” in shamanic trance states, and as prophetic messengers.

Filled with stories — some fables involving only birds and some anecdotal narratives of birds interaction with humans — the book is also an impassioned plea for humans to become more responsible about protecting bird habitats and breeding grounds. Pritchard likens the serious disappearance of bird species to the “canary in the mine”. He believes that our bird friends bring us serious messages about protecting our environment before it is too late.

The information and traditions in the book come from myriad sources. It is a lively accounting of creatures we often take for granted despite the joy they bring us.

As with faeries, you have to believe in birds before they can change your life. Pritchard makes a very strong case for giving them a chance to do just that. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2013 Anna Jedrziewski and

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