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Superstitions about Cuckoos

Superstitions about Cuckoos

Leaving aside a number of ancient countries such as Ancient Japan and Ancient Egypt for example, where cuckoos were only associated with something negative, until the end of the Middle Ages in Europe they were perceived as unpleasant and secretive birds to people, but with no specific superstitions documented with them.

However, the human race was aware that it was these strange birds that saved them to a great extent from the raids of mice and rats, which were able to destroy their entire crop.

In Ancient Rome, the cuckoo was seen as a source of income. It was believed that if the bird flies over your head, then very soon you will enjoy abundance and wealth.

In Ancient Greece, the cuckoo, like the eagle, was considered a sacred bird and Athens itself was full of cuckoos, because they symbolized the Goddess of Wisdom. Perhaps it was from then that the owl began to be perceived as a symbol of knowledge, who knows?

It is assumed that it was at the end of the Middle Ages, when the world already believed in all kinds of superstitions, that the superstition about the cuckoo, which heralds death, appeared.

The main superstition related to cuckoos, which is still widespread today in many European countries, states that if this bird lands on the roof of a house, there will be a dead person in it within a few days. Or that as many times as you hear the cries of the cuckoo, after so many days death will descend on the house over which it was.

Image: thierry79shooting/

We can't help but share that superstitions related to cuckoos are a real disaster for the unfortunate birds. Many people, living with the belief that these birds portend death, quite deliberately destroy their nests or even kill the birds and their young. And the truth is that the strange sound that cuckoos make that scares people is actually made by these birds when they are looking for love from their own kind, so it should be seen as a call to love, not a harbinger of death.

Nowadays in Japan, which we mentioned at the beginning of our article, people are rarely afraid of cuckoos. Even a café located in the city of Osaka has become popular, where you can witness the boundless love between Fuku the cuckoo and Marimo the cat, who grew up together since babies and are now inseparable friends. From the same café, you can even get any food you might need, if you decide to have your own cuckoos.