Believe or not… BIRDS ARE EVERYWHERE. You’ve started hearing them first thing in the morning since Spring rolled around and you might have some new guest visiting your backyard bird feeders.
If you been anywhere near a TV within the past few weeks, you’re probably watching the World Cup like the rest of us! It comes once every four years and the teams come prepared to represent their countries from around the world. What they may not know is that some of these countries are really representing the birders of the world!! But how can this be?
With pride on their shirts, each team rolls out of the dressing rooms to sing their national anthem and pay respect to their flags. This is when I noticed the birds!
Across the front of the Mexican flag is a golden eagle, one of the largest birds in all of North America. Egypt’s flag is adorned with an Egyptian Eagle and the Serbian flag likewise has a menacing double headed white eagle on it.
The Nigerian national team is known as the Super Eagles, a fitting name as they have been soaring through the competition in the group stages. The Eagles of Carthage or, Les Aigles de Carthage, are from the North African country of Tunisia.
The mascot of 2014 World Cup Champions, Germany,is a black eagle with a yellow beak known as “Paule.” I promise those are all the eagles for now!
1998 World Cup Champions, France, adopted a Gallic Rooster named “Footix” to be mascot.
Common favorites, Brazil have a mascot affectionately referred to as “Canarinho.” The name means little canary and symbolizes the vivid yellow canaries that are found throughout the country. There is a story about how soccer players Neymar JR and Phillippe Coutinho played a small prank on the mascot. Neymar kneeled behind him and Coutinho gave him solid push backwards, putting Canarinho head over heels.
To complete this world tour, we end with Japan!The Japanese have a “Yatagarasu” a three-legged crow found in East Asian mythology. In Japan, this creature represents the will of Heaven or divine intervention in human affairs.
We’ve been around the Americas with Mexico and Brazil; Africa with Egypt, Nigeria and Tunisia. The Eurotrip was fun with Germany, Serbia, and France and we even had Asia in the mix with Japan. With so many different nations using birds as symbols to represent athletic teams, it is not hard to see that birds can be found in most cultures! This brings us back down to earth by telling us that keeping these animals safe also means keeping different cultures alive.
Look out for more birds in the World Cup!
featured photo found on: