NATIONAL WINGED SYMBOLS
It shall be one the most favourite with the citizens as a result of the polls. Thus, honoured for its beauty, varied colours, and attractive plumage, a national bird of a country has cultural, mythological, and religious sentiments associated with it. Thus, the Conference of 1960 not only adopted the concept of "national bird", but also encouraged the governments to protect and preserve the selected winged ones.
The Republic of South Africa
Residents of one of the most developed countries of the Black Continent named the blue crane as their own national symbol. This bird is distinguished by its cleanliness and the incredible love of water: every day it goes bathing dozens of times. In South Africa it is believed to be a good sign to hear its distinctive rattling croak which brings happiness. By the way, blue cranes are keen on leaving for winter grounds, and if Latvian wagtails spend six months in the Baltic States, those African feathered favourites prefer to spend the cold season on the coast of the Indian Ocean. However, this migration habit does not affect people's love.
In the 60s of the last century the Indian government announced peacock as a national bird. This happened largely due to the fact that this fowls are considered as divine in local mythology. According to the sacred manuscripts a peacock was a means of transportation for the great Kartikeya, the son of Shiva god. In addition almost all the Indian deities after death reincarnated in peacocks. Therefore, when the country put question whom to assign as the main bird, little doubt arose. By the way, the feature of Indian peacocks is their ability to be domesticated, as nowhere in the world.
Residents of this small Baltic country highly respect white wagtails, and this despite the fact that this winged race spends in Latvia six months only, being regular winter migrants to the Mediterranean. The Latvians say that these birds are the main symbol of hard working and diligence. In spring and summer without stopping they are picking twigs for nests, they are very active, always on move and thus remind people that working is necessary. That’s why these birds gained love and respect, and even special protection laws were adopted.
Even before the above mentioned conference, the Americans were the world's first to decide on their winged symbol. It was the majestic bald eagle painted on different logos, emblems and banknotes. Love of the Americans to this menacing sky guard began during the War of Independence. According to historians, during battles bald eagles circled fearlessly over battlefields and their cries raised soldiers’ spirit. Whether it is a true fact, is under question, but there is a proven historic fact that their feathers were used by valiant Indians. Old Abe is the most famous bald eagle who witnessed the Civil War and actually survived in 42 battles. Till his death in 1881 he lived with a military band and was considered almost as a member since he always sang the right tune.
A crane, "krunk" in Armenian, is considered to be the national feathered symbol of the country. National history had a lot of sad events, the most tragic of which was the genocide of 1915. As a result of the terrible ethnic depopulation, many Armenians were forced to flee their country and settle around the world. Among displaced persons was also an outstanding composer Komitas Vardapet. While in exile, he created his famous song "Krunk" about homesickness. The song became incredibly popular both in Armenia and in many diasporas, and the crane was transformed into a symbol of "news from home". The bird still enjoys love and respect, and the song has long ago become the unofficial anthem.
Foggy Albion’s hearts are set aflutter with huge honour to European robin – a fluffy beauty of an old world flycatcher family. Its singing is the same important attribute of Christmas as gifts or garlands. Love for the bird origins from biblical sources: legend has it that when Jesus was dying on the cross, the robin flew to his side and sang to comfort him in his pain. The blood from his wounds stained the robin's breast, and thereafter all robins got the mark of Son of God's blood upon them. Love of the English to robin redbreast knows no boundaries, since the 19th century the postmen whose duty falls on Christmas are given a special red uniform, thus showing affection to the little birds.
The Israelis were almost the last to choose their national bird. After voting in 2008, and this event was almost the same media covered as the presidential elections, surprisingly a hoopoe won ahead of falcon and thrush. It is not exaggeration to say that the Holy Land has a very wide choice: Israel is one of the main destinations for wintering of European birds. The Israelis explained their choice by the fact that at the dawn of religions a hoopoe was revered more than any other avian since it is incredibly caring for its parents dedicating its life to them.
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