[Tweeters] How old is birding???

Robert O'Brien baro at pdx.edu
Sat Dec 29 14:36:47 PST 2018

WOW, I had no idea Dante was involved. Thanks for posting this. * I'd
love to hear more such 'early birding' references.*
But.... it seems Dante was a millennium too late if he was trying to be the
first. (Citations, where else? Mostly Wikipedia)
Bob OBrien Portland

Latin <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin> *rāra avis
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rara_avis#Latin>* (“rare bird”), plural *rarae
aves <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rarae_aves#Latin>*

>From Juvenal's <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juvenal> *Satires*

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satires_(Juvenal)> (6.165): *Rara avis in
terris nigroque simillima cycno* ("a bird as rare upon the earth as a black

(of course, almost a millennium later Juvenal was 'plagiarized' with the
book '*The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable',*

And of course Black Swans do exist, as wild birds in Australia, New
Zealand, where they are not rare at all!


*The Satires are a collection of satirical
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire> poems by the Latin author Juvenal
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juvenal> written in the early 2nd century
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_frontispiece> depicting Juvenal
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juvenal> andPersius
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persius>, from a volume translated byJohn
Dryden <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dryden> in 1711*

*Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems divided among five books
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scroll>; all are in the Roman genre
of satire <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire>, which, at its most basic
in the time of the author, comprised a wide-ranging discussion of society
and social mores <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mores> in dactylic
hexameter <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dactylic_hexameter>.[1]
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satires_(Juvenal)#cite_note-1>The sixth and
tenth satires are some of the most renowned works in the collection. The
poems are not individually titled, but translators have often added titles
for the convenience of readers.*


Of course Aristotle beat Juvenal by a few more centuries. But maybe as a
'scientist' he doesn't count? Although he was still being extensively
quoted more than a millenium later; in what occasionally might be
considered 'Fake News'.


Barely beating out Dante was the great Emperor Frederick II, Holy Roman
Emperor 22 November 1220 – 13 December 1250.

Falconry might be considered an aboriginal form of Birding which of course
persists to this day. And Frederick's

book contains extensive observations of birds in general, in addition to
hawks. But in spite of the following passage

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_II,_Holy_Roman_Emperor) we
wouldn't really consider him to be a scientist,

more of aslightly pre-Renaissance Man

*Frederick II is the author of the first treatise on the subject
of falconry <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falconry>, De Arte Venandi cum
Avibus <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_arte_venandi_cum_avibus> ("The Art
of Hunting with Birds"). In the words of the historian Charles Homer
Haskins <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Homer_Haskins>:*

*It is a scientific book, approaching the subject from Aristotle
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle> but based closely on observation
and experiment throughout, Divisivus et Inquisitivus, in the words of the
preface; it is at the same time a scholastic
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism> book, minute and almost
mechanical in its divisions and subdivisions. It is also a rigidly
practical book, written by a falconer for falconers and condensing a long
experience into systematic form for the use of others.[42]

*Frederick's pride in his mastery of the art is illustrated by the story
that, when he was ordered to become a subject of the Great Khan (Batu
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batu_Khan>) and receive an office at the
Khan's court, he remarked that he would make a good falconer, for he
understood birds very well.[43]
maintained up to fifty falconers at a time in his court, and in his letters
he requested Arctic gyrfalcons
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrfalcon> from Lübeck
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%BCbeck> and even from Greenland
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland>. One of the two existing versions
was modified by his son Manfred
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_of_Sicily>, also a keen falconer.*


*e.g. **https://www.revolvy.com/page/De-arte-venandi-cum-avibus

On Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 2:49 PM mary hrudkaj <mch1096 at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I, like many, have always thought birding was a hobby from only the past

> century or so. Unless you were an ornithologist. Today, while reading

> Dante's 'The Purgatory' I found out birding is much older. The first lines

> of Canto XXIII (23 for the non-Roman numeral crowd) go "The while among the

> verdant leaves mine eyes I riveted, as he is wont to do who wastes his life

> pursuing little birds, My more than Father said unto me: "Son, come now;

> because the time that is ordained us more usefully should be apportioned

> out."".


> I supposed birding then was more of riveting ones eyes on verdant leaves

> of trees or shrubbery (fetch me a shrubbery). Maybe that time was the

> birth of both ornithology and the phrase 'a bird in the hand is worth two

> in the bush'. At least for looking at anyway.


> May all your birds be easy to identify in the coming new year. May you be

> able to apportion out as much time birding as you wish.


> Mary Hrudkaj

> Belfair/Tahuya



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