So singular a combination of ornithologist and mythologist is the author of ‘Bird Gods’ that students of birds, as well as of myths, will find his pages of interest. “Why,” he asks himself, should certain birds have been allotted to certain gods and goddesses in the Greek and Roman mythology? Why should the Eagle go with Zeus, the Peacock with Hera, the Dove with Venus, the Swan with Apollo, he Wood-pecker with Ares, the Owl with Pallas Athene? "And his search for a reply to these questions has led him into many little-frequented by-paths of early European literature, in which he has found much curious information concerning the influence of birds on primitive religions. Impressed by the “share birds have had in the making of myth, religion, poetry and legend” he wonders at their whole-sale destruction to-day, and ventures the hope that recollection of what our ancestors thought of birds and beasts, of how at one time they prized and idealized them, may induce in us, their, some shame at the extermination to which we are consigning these lovable but helpless creatures, for temporary gains or sheer brutal love of slaughter."
Bird Gods. By Charles de Kay. With decorations by George Wharton Edwards. A. S. Barnes & Co., New York. 12mo., pages xix+249. Price, $2.