It is pretty easy to take birds for granted. Sure, you put out bird feeders to attract some swallows or other local birds but have you ever taken into consideration how much of a role these wild animals have had in culture? They have been a constant in a changing world. Images of birds can be found in every major religion. They have held symbolic meanings in literature, movies and music. If you actually think about it, birds surround you every day. In the past they were highly regarded and even today modern man has a healthy respect for the role that the bird plays.
For the Ancient Egyptians the bird was very significant. It was so significant because Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, was depicted as a man/falcon. Throughout Egypt he was worshiped because he held dominion over the sun and the moon. One of the greatest feats that Horus accomplished was defeating Set, the god of storms, chaos and the desert. People could gain Horus’s favor by worshipping him and paying homage to his temples.
Exotic birds such as the falcon have always claimed humanity’s attention. Wild birds are the epitome of freedom. They sail through the skies without masters and do as they wish. They cannot be truly tamed. Even those that use falcons and hawks as gaming birds know that these species of birds can turn vicious and unpredictable if they are not treated properly and trained well. It can take years for a falcon or a hawk to be gentled. Perhaps that is why you do not see many people trying to own these birds. In medieval times it was common for lords to become falconers.
The bird will always remain a part of society. Whether it is through religious messages, literature, movies or music, birds are here to stay. Mankind has a fascination with the sky and the ability of wild birds to fly unfettered and free. The homage that people pay may be as simple as taking birding tours to see exotic birds or it may be a keen fascination with understanding the role that birds have played in history.