Swallow myths and legends

Swallow myths and legends
Barn Swallows, photo: Lars Lachmann
For many, many years the Swallow has been considered a very welcome bird by people. It was a symbol of the spring awakening and revival of life. It is still seen as a spring messenger - a bird which arrival signals the end of winter in Europe. If Swallows nested in farm buildings, it meant well-being and good fortune for the owners. People believed that the presence of these birds protected farm animals from diseases and curses and buildings from fires. They were always very happy, therefore, to see the Swallows return.
Over the years, people observed these birds and explained their behaviour in different ways. Weather was predicted based on their flight: if Swallows flew low it meant a rain, but if high, beautiful weather was expected.  As people didn’t know a lot in former times about bird migrations, they explained disappearance of Swallows for the European winter in a very interesting way. Before they depart, Swallows gather in groups of hundreds which stay together for the night in reeds on lake shores. They disappear unnoticed one day and therefore people believed that Swallows spent the winter under the ice at the bottom of lakes. Now people have much more information about  bird migration and understand the Swallows' behaviour much better. Thanks to them we can protect these birds better. Every year we look forward to seeing Swallows in the spring sky.
Read also: