Ornithomancy and Auspicy: Bird Divination

Bird - Seagull enjoying the sunset

Bird – Seagull enjoying the sunset (Photo credit: blmiers2)

Does anyone have experience in ornithomancy/auspicy? I feel very connected to birds and want to pursue it as an alternate form of divination. Along those lines, can you practice ornithomancy on a pet bird? I also find a lot of feathers whenever I’m out in nature and wonder if there’s such a practice as feather divination. If so, how does it differ from ornithomancy? What can you do with feathers?

Already I have a specific question regarding an interesting sight I’ve not before seen. Last week, I was in the car with my family, coincidentally returning from an Edgar Allan Poe event, when suddenly I saw a mega-murder of crows dot the sky like black pepper. And they kept on coming. And coming. For about an hour there were an inexhaustible number of crows piling up in the sky. I did a little research and discovered this kind of spectacle isn’t too uncommon, especially during winter months. Crows and other birds will form impressively-sized roosts to keep warm during cold snaps, but I also wonder if there is some additional meaning for me beyond the mundane, especially since I have an attraction to corvids and crow augury is foremost on my list of ornithomancy exploration. Though, I do understand that quest for meaning in the mundane reeks of: “I’m a speshul hyooman the crows gathered just for meeee not for any other reason!!” Unfortunately, I’m still straddling the line between OMG THAT BIRD JUST POOPED WHAT DOES IT MEAN? to OH THAT CROW JUST TALKED TO ME IT MUST BE SOMEONE’S PET -SHRUG- Not the best of analogies, but you get the picture.

I do address a secondary and a little more of an unusual occurrence, albeit more upsetting. A few months ago in the summer, I was standing by the front desk at work when I heard a huge SMASH against the glass front door. When I went to the door, I saw a small but beautiful yellow bird (I think it was a warbler) crumpled on the ground, writhing in pain spasms. I felt helpless to do anything, since the manager wouldn’t allow me to leave the front desk, so I pretty much stood there and watched it die. It was one of the more upsetting animal encounters I’ve had, and just an upsetting sight overall. I managed to move it from the door off to a little nook on the side of the building so its body wouldn’t get kicked around or trampled, and unfortunately, that was all I could do for the little bird. Now, I’ve heard of birds smashing into windows, mistaking them for the sky (not to mention it sounded like another bird was chasing it around), but to witness that happen, only then to watch it die–I still believe it was a powerful portent of some sort, but the meaning has eluded me. Then again, I no longer have that job, so maybe that was the portent. A little drastic of a message, but received nonetheless?

Anyway, I’m rambling. My point is: With ornithomancy, where do you draw the line between a message and the mundane? Unusual behavior? A connection? Feeling drawn to a certain bird and/or its actions?

Also, I’m curious to know about other peoples’ experiences with bird signs and omens. I’ve got a little ditty about a seagull that swindled my deep-fried twinkie, but I wouldn’t exactly call that an omen (maybe an omen of bad food choices). XD

Lastly, does anyone know of any good resources on the subject?

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