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Birds in Portuguese literature.


Birds are emblematic natural elements of landscapes. Readily noticeable and appreciated due to their songs and flight, they have been thoroughly used as components of literary scenarios. This paper analyses their representations in a broad corpus (144 writings by 67 writers) since the nineteenth century, divided in three time-periods. It aims to understand which wild birds are represented in Portuguese literature, how those representations prevail over time, and what literary texts reveal about distribution and abundance of the birds mentioned, linked to major environmental and landscape changes. Based on common names, 112 taxonomic units are identified, corresponding to either one species, species of the same genera or family or a higher taxon. In addition, historical distribution and abundance are extracted from literary texts and compared with data from biological sources, such as ornithological reports, guides, atlas and red data books. We conclude that bird representations are frequent and diversified in terms of taxonomic units, and this richness tends to prevail over time. The most prolific wild bird representations are linked to the writers' own experiences of the Portuguese countryside during their childhood and youth. It is particularly significant in the writers from the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, with a rural origin, like most of the population. Despite landscape and social changes through time, contemporary literature still reveals a sound knowledge of birds and a proximity and appreciation of nature, which can be explained by the rural ancestry of some current writers, as a kind of countryside nostalgia, and/or the embodiment of an environmental discourse of wildlife preservation.


Ecological history, Portuguese literature, birds


Birding in literature requires similar attention to birding in the field, and generates perhaps a similar fascination and pleasure. Bird literary descriptions combine objective and subjective dimensions (like the writers' field notes and experiences of birding) that can be a valuable testimony of natural and cultural landscape features, as well as a repository of the environmental imagination of a particular time and space. Such descriptions can be used to list species, and analyse how their biological and ecological characteristics are depicted, as well as cultural perceptions. In this regard, descriptions can also be considered a way to think about the tangible and intangible relationships between humans and the more-than-human world throughout time.

Previous studies on this topic include the canonical work Birds in Literature. (1) It explores how attributes that make birds so familiar--their flight and song--are described, and their underlying meanings. Examples come primarily from American and British poetry and prose from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, although Greco-Roman writers are also cited.

Years later, John Rowlett analysed the relationship between ornithological knowledge and literary understanding. The author explores the origins of British literary ecocriticism, focusing on the analysis of three poems from the late eighteenth century, where sound ornithological knowledge was applied. For him, although 'the class Aves composes an especially rewarding group of natural creatures to inquire into', it has not yet been the main focus of literary criticism. (2)

Thomas Gannon is the author of an extensive cross-cultural transatlantic study about how poets and nature writers in Britain and Native America have incorporated birds into their writings. (3) Jeremy Mynott, in turn, analyses how birds are represented and experienced, by focusing on their naming and classification, their imaginative and emotional role, and cultural representations (4).

Recently, Sabine Kim sheds light on the poetics of bird watching as a result of an embodied practice. Using poems by the contemporary Canadian poet Don Mackay, she suggests that 'bird-watching in this instance engages boundaries between nature-watcher and watched nature which are subject to blurring'. (5) Also, T.V. Mason explores the knowledge of species specificities in McKay's poems, emphasising ecocriticism's polyphonic capacity to read across genres and disciplines (6).

In Portugal, pigeons and partridges are the subject of two essays that are part of a collection of booklets on traditional literature. (7) Besides, two Portuguese writers are the main focus of two studies that explore the presence of birds in their writings. C. Pimenta and M. Moreno-Garcia identified more than forty species in the writings of Gil Vicente (c. 1465--c. 1536?), a famous playwright who is considered the founder of Portuguese theatre. (8) A.I. Queiroz and M.T. Andresen analysed the presence of wild birds in the literary writings of the writer Aquilino Ribeiro (1885-1963). (9) These authors highlight the use of literature as a source for environmental history, especially for times and places without wildlife inventories or scientific studies on the relationship between humans and other animals. Using the same material, A.I. Queiroz organised an anthology of literary excerpts that mentioned birds. (10) A total of 67 taxonomic units were identified in thirteen of Aquilino Ribeiro's literary writings. The introductory essay highlights his concern with nature protection and the urgent need for appropriate management of human activities that can conflict with wildlife. His surprisingly high ecological knowledge results from a close relationship with nature. Despite these specific studies, an overall study of birds in Portuguese literature has never been conducted.

Using literature as a material source is not new in historical, anthropological or ecological research. Environmental history, in particular, has a huge advantage due to its use of literary texts as repositories of memories, ideas, values and attitudes towards nature. In addition, texts also contain a huge pedagogical potential to support interdisciplinary environmental educational activities.

Based on these considerations, this article contributes to disclosing the representations of wild birds and their habitats in Portuguese canonical literature since the nineteenth century. It considers that 'all texts are at least potentially environmental (and therefore susceptible to ecocriticism or ecologically informed reading) in the sense that all texts are literally or imaginatively situated in a place, and their authors, consciously or not, inscribe within them a certain relation to their place'. (11) Wild birds are here distinguished as natural elements profusely represented in a broad corpus of Portuguese literature, by focusing on taxonomic units rather than on one writer or a particular genre.

Portugal is included in the Mediterranean biogeographic regions (Minho region excepted). It is characterised by a 'dramatic variety and glamorous contrast', (12) a patchwork of habitats with a surprising variability of vegetation types, depending on local conditions and human land-use histories. (13) The Mediterranean basin is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. (14)

Portuguese avifauna is quite diverse, with 196 breeding birds in its mainland territory. (15) Furthermore, it is a wintering refuge for several species, also being crossed by a migratory flyway for Western Palearctic passerines. (16) Due to the occurrence of species 'subject [to] special conservation measures concerning their habitat in order to ensure their survival and reproduction', circa ten per cent of the mainland territory was classified as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds under the EU Birds Directive. (17)

Bird scientific records in the last two centuries are scarce, contrary to what happens in literary texts, here analysed as a proxy to understand biological diversity through time and space. The long story of human interactions with nature in all types of ecosystems (terrestrial, aquatic and marine) has been portrayed in literary scenarios and disclosed in the actions of the narratives' characters. This paper tackles landscape changes over the last two centuries, focusing on birds, those 'creatures that most often draw us to nature and hold our interest through life'. (18)

The temporal dimension is explored in order to address the wild birds mentioned over a period of time and their overall significance. The initial research questions were the following:

1. Which are the wild birds represented in Portuguese literature?

2. How do those representations prevail over time?

3. What do literary texts reveal about distribution and abundance of the birds mentioned?

One of the main obstacles to studying birds in a broad literary corpus results from the immense time-consuming task of reading and identifying references to them. We overcame this by using data stored from the LITESCAPE.PT project. (19)

LITESCAPE.PT analyses landscape representations in all genres of Portuguese literature since the nineteenth century. It combines the classical reading method of literary studies and the 'distant reading' approach of digital humanities, (20) resorting to relational databases and GIS to classify and analyse literary excerpts according to a set of ecological, socioeconomic, temporal, and cultural dimensions.

This study is based on the excerpts of literary writings that were registered in the database up to April 2014 (n= 6,802). From this broader literary corpus, we selected the excerpts with references to wild birds, each of which includes a reference to a bird name or a set of names. Taxonomic units were then identified by relating the Portuguese common names mentioned in the literary corpus to the scientific Latin names (correspondent to a species, genera and/or family), using lists of vernacular Portuguese names for the Palearctic birds. (21) In the cases that raised doubts, attention was also paid to the morphological and behavioural descriptions in literary writings. Moreover, in the case of units that can include wild and domestic species (eg. pigeon), all the clear references to captive-bred birds were excluded.

This corpus was divided in three time-periods to study the evolution of the birds' prevalence in literary narratives. The criterion of delimitation was not strictly literary, due to the fuzzy boundaries of each style (Romanticism, Naturalism/Realism, Modernism, Neo-Realism, Existentialism, Post-Modernism, and 'Cosmopolitanism'). (22) As literature reflects and is framed by the history and culture of a society, these periods reflect changes in the Portuguese socio-political context since the mid-nineteenth century. According to their lifetime and main phase of literary production, writers and their writings were placed in one of the following time-periods:

1. From the 1850s to the 1920s: this was a period of great social and political turmoil, with the decline and extinction of the monarchy, the first sixteen years of a republican government, and the totalitarian coup in 1926;

2. From the 1930s to the 1970s: the country went through a dictatorship that lasted almost fifty years, overthrown on 25 April 1974;

3. From the 1980s onwards: the country has been under a democracy.

Some driving forces of landscape changes over time can be linked to these political shifts, as has been identified mainly by rural historians (23) and landscape ecologists. (24)

During the first period, the agricultural area increased significantly, which implied a reduction of uncultivated common land and the decline of animal husbandry. Still, the countryside was dominated by a rural landscape based on pastoral traditional uses. By this time, the government recognised the need for afforestation of the coastal dunes using pines to avoid erosion and protect floodplains. Regarding birds, according to the Convention for the Protection of Birds (Paris 1902) they were considered useful or harmful to agriculture, hunting and fishing, depending on taxa.

In the second period, the government started to afforest the Central and Northern Portuguese mountains with pines. In Southern Portugal a 'wheat campaign' was implemented in order to give the best possible use to all arable land, and reduce the import of grain. As a consequence of these two measures, important natural areas were devastated or profoundly changed, although a low-intensity farming system prevailed in most of the country. The legislation did not provide specific protection for bird species and their habitats, with some species (like raptors) being slaughtered in return for rewards, as part of a campaign unleashed by the authorities against 'noxious animals'. (25) This period is characterised by the beginning of the urbanisation and industrialisation of coastal cities, with a massive rural exodus either to the country's main towns, or to several European countries in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the third period, the paper pulp industry stimulated a massive afforestation with eucalyptus, which were not common until then. Forest fires became a national issue every summer, consuming large areas especially of pinewoods, eucalyptus woods and scrublands. While the north remains under traditional agriculture, a 'land reform' in the Southern country reduced acreage and crop production for some years. The 'montado' (an agro-silvo-pastoral system with high value to conservation, in which the dominant tree species is the cork oak or the holm oak) covered approximately one million hectares in 2010, 44 per cent of the total forested areas. (26) The agricultural area shrank as a consequence of a continuing decline and ageing of rural population, although some agricultural products have gained an important market value, like wine, olive oil and cork. The accession to the European Union in 1986 brought new opportunities to develop the tertiary sector, with consequences for transport networks, urbanisation and tourism, and a considerable pressure on landscapes. Nevertheless, a high landscape diversity is recognised throughout the country. (27) Legislation concerning nature conservation and spatial planning has been substantially developed in accordance with the regulations and directives imposed by the EU, as well as agro-environmental measures.

Literary birds were classified according to their habitat types, using categories established by the Atlas of Portuguese Breeding Birds. (28) The 28 NUTS, level 3, (29) of the Portuguese mainland are the spatial references for comparing the literary distribution with other biogeographical data (Figure 1).

Finally, statistical analyses were used to test: (1) the correlation between the frequency of taxonomic units in excerpts and writings, and between excerpts and writers; (2) differences in the number of taxonomic units and the number of writings mentioning birds over time.

Wherever writings are mentioned, the year of the first publication is referenced. Literary translations are the authors' own responsibility.



1. Inventory of literary birds

Wild birds appear in 910 excerpts of 144 writings by 67 different writers, either as generic terms or specific common names. As is characteristic of folk taxonomies, common names can be unitary, binary or plural, and can be related to one or several species. (30) Besides, such terms encompass those individuals that possess a group of perceptible and defining characteristics that are necessary and sufficient for them to be considered as the same being, in terms of morphology or human uses. (31)

Data from generic terms are the following: 109 excerpts of 53 writings by 31 writers identify passerines using the term 'passaro' or its derived forms. The term 'ave' (bird) is also common, sole or in the diminutive form 'avezinha' (52 excerpts of 25 writings by 17 writers). Raptors are also mentioned as 'rapina' or 'ave de rapina' (eight excerpts of eight writings by five writers).

Appending to the general terms there is some information about morphology, habitat, behaviour or specific feelings towards it: 'ave branca' (white bird); 'ave do mar' and 'passaro-do-mar' (sea bird and sea passerine); 'ave do sapal' (saltmarsh bird); 'passaro da navinha' (table land bird); 'ave noturna', 'ave noctivaga', and 'passaro noturno' (nocturnal bird and nocturnal passerine); 'avejao' and 'avejao nocturno' (an augmentative term of 'ave', that means an illusory image that instills fear); 'passaro-de-mau-agoiro', 'passaro-de-masorte' (jinx passerine); and 'ave real' (royal bird).

Specific common names may be attributed to species, genera or higher taxa. They are assigned in most excerpts where birds are mentioned. There are 188 specific common names, which correspond to 111 taxonomic units (a tentative list of correspondences is presented in Appendix 1, which also includes the number of records of each taxonomic unit in the overall corpus, by excerpts, writings and writers).

Among them, 65 units correspond to one species, 21 units include species of the same genera and eighteen units include species of different genera, same family or a higher taxon. Only seven common names remain unidentified ('assapador', 'crielvo', 'peneirinha', 'peneireiro dos bosques', 'pires', 'sarrau' and 'tuinho'), as they were not found in the reference literature on bird nomenclature. In addition, literary descriptions lack sufficient information on morphology, behaviour and ecological context to establish correspondence. These common names are probably local variations, some of which may even have been forgotten in the current lexicon, illustrating the fact that folk taxa are not necessarily mirrored in a scientific taxonomy. (32) The loss of such local designations may also be due to ecological and social changes such as land abandonment, rural exodus and high urbanisation rates. These occurred in Portugal in recent decades, following a similar trend to other European regions. (33)


In Figure 2, above, the 'number of writings' trend line shows two noticeable disparate points (a and b), which correspond to the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufus, y=130) and the dove (Streptopelia spp., y=83). This could be explained by the fact that these are the most important game species in Portugal. When writers address hunting in their writings, both species are profusely mentioned, being present throughout the narrative in multiple descriptions.

Below the 'number of writings' trend line, the two most distant points correspond to units that represent sets of taxa (y=20 and y=60): the first corresponds to 'aguia' (c), a Portuguese common name that denotes several species of medium size raptors, like Aquila, Buteo, Circaetus, Circus, Hieraaetus and Pandion; the second corresponds to Columba spp. (d)--pigeons and dove. Despite these deviating results, a strong correlation in the frequency of taxonomic units, between excerpts and writings (Pearson r =0.95), and between excerpts and writers (Pearson r =0.88), justifies the following analysis of their prevalence based on writings and writers.

The ten most frequent taxonomic units are shown in Table 1 according to their ranking.

There might be different factors underlying the more frequent selection of these units: species abundance and visibility (like the blackbird, the crow or the sparrow), socioeconomic factors (three of them are game species: red-legged partridge, dove and pigeon), or even cultural factors due to metaphorical and symbolic connotations (like the owl or the nightingale).

At the bottom of the ranking, 31 units are mentioned only in one excerpt. Among these literary rare species there is an extinct species in Portugal (the bearded vulture, Gypaetus barbatus, mentioned by Aquilino Ribeiro). There are also some of the most endangered breeding birds in Portugal or those with a clear decreasing tendency, like the woodchat shrike (Lanius senator) mentioned by Bento da Cruz, the lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) mentioned by Aquilino Ribeiro, the black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) and the mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) mentioned by Maria Angelina and Raul Brandao. However, there are also species whose numbers and area of distribution have increased over the last decades, like the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), mentioned by Aquilino Ribeiro; the Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaoto) mentioned by Lidia Jorge; and the black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), mentioned by Carlos de Oliveira.

2. Bird prevalence over time

Writers were classified according to the previously defined time-periods and the same temporal references were attributed to their writings, as previously explained. The sum of the taxonomic units mentioned in the writings of each period is also calculated.

The number of taxonomic units over the three time-periods has considerably increased from the first to the second periods (n=45 to n=97), and then decreased in the third period (n=65) (Figure 3). In the second period, there is also the maximum number of writings, and more writings per writer: the relation is 3/1, while in the other periods it is 1.9 and 1.7 (first and third periods, respectively).

An increase between the first and second periods can be explained by two features of contemporary Portuguese literature: only by the late nineteenth century have animals started to appear as a literary theme per se, and in twentieth century literature there is a preference for rural subjects. (34)

A possible explanation for these higher numbers in the second time-period can also be related to the writers' production. For instance, in the literary corpus there are sixteen writings by Aquilino Ribeiro, one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century. He pulls up the sum of writings of this time-period and contributes greatly to the overall result, with 82 different taxonomic units. On the other hand, a couple of writers, Maria Angelina and Raul Brandao, wrote together Portugal Pequenino, their sole work in the corpus, which mentions 59 different taxa.

Despite what is seen in the graphic, these two particular cases, together with a few others, are not enough to confirm significant differences over time. Using data from the number of taxonomic units mentioning birds by writer, we tested their distribution over time. An independent-samples Kruskal-Wallis test shows no significant differences between periods (K=0.487, df=2, p=0.784), so the distribution of taxonomic units is the same across time-periods.

3. Distribution and abundance by breeding habitat types

The classification of literary birds according to their habitat types frames the analyses of trends in the distribution and abundance of 99 breeding taxa, corresponding to 89 per cent of the total mentioned in the literary corpus (Table 2).

3.1. Marine species

Three taxa of marine breeding birds are mentioned in Os Pescadores (1923) and Portugal Pequenino (1930). In both writings, Berlenga island, a marine rock with 78.8 ha of surface area, located 5.7 miles west of the Portuguese Western Coast (unit nr. 19--Oeste), is described, mainly its landscape, fishing practices and biological diversity. common guillemots (Uria aalge), seagulls (Larus spp.), and shags (Phalacrocorax spp.) have here 'their favourite nest ... [They] create their chicks on sheer cliffs, reachable only by risking their lives ... As a secular habit, they have this inviolable asylum'. (35)

Historical data about the common guillemot breeding colony in Berlenga suggest how huge it was, with an estimated population of 6,000 pairs in 1939. (36) It has since been facing a continuous decline, mainly in the last decades, due to several factors, including the increase in fishing with gillnets made of plastic since the 1960s--apparently, birds do not manage to detect them and dive on them to catch fish, getting entrapped and drowning. In 2002, only 27 specimens were counted. (37) Currently, the overall Portuguese population does not even reach fifty individuals, being considered 'Critically Endangered'. It is concentrated in Berlenga island, which remains a refuge for this species. (38) The island was classified in 1981 as a Natural Reserve, and the species is the symbol of this protected area.

One of its Portuguese names--Airo--is also the title of the scientific journal of the Portuguese Ornithological Association (SPEA), and the designation of the Business Association of the Western region, where Berlenga is located.

3.2. Aquatic species

From the fourteen aquatic breeding taxa mentioned in the literary corpus, we highlight the common snipe, Gallinago gallinago, which is present in seven writings by five writers.

The most impressive literary description of its habitat and behaviour comes from Aquilino Ribeiro (Aldeia 1946), from one of his own observations in the northeast of unit nr. 14--Dao-Lafoes, Paiva river: '[snipe] lighting very close to the river bed, elusive as arrows, to land in the gravel. And after brief wriggles in the hoary pebbles that the water keeps stroking with its careless fringe, they shrewdly immobilise themselves waiting for the unwary little bogue.' (39)

Four writers describe the common snipe in the context of hunting practices in winter. Alves Redol (Mares 1941) locates it in the flooded fields of River Tejo, in the north-east of unit nr. 20--Grande Lisboa. Antunes da Silva (Suao 1960) mentioned it among great bustards, hares and partridges, all species that are hunted in a region of Southern Portugal (unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo). We found particularly relevant the five excerpts of Miguel Torga's journal (Diario V, VII and X), where he mentions the common snipe in the flooded fields of Mondego River (unit nr. 10--Baixo Mondego). Written between 1949 and 1970, these five entries confirm the occurrence of the species and its relative abundance in that time and space. In winter and during migration, it is still possible to find the common snipe relatively widespread in wetlands, flooded fields (e.g. rice paddies) and streams bordered by muddy banks. (40) Hunting is allowed in Portugal within a legally established period (from 1 November to 20 February) and limited bag (maximum of eight specimens per day/per person (41)).

Bento da Cruz (Planalto de Gostofrio 1982) also mentioned the common snipe among other species. The writer's native region (Montalegre) is a relevant location as regards the breeding population of this species. Nowadays, it is concentrated in a small area of the extreme northwest of the unit nr. 8--Alto Tras-os-Montes, which coincides with Bento da Cruz's literary territory. The breeding population of Portugal mainland is 'Critically endangered', (42) and consists of only 8-10 pairs. (43) In the past, this area must have supported a larger population. (44) The breeding population of this species faces the same threats in other European Mediterranean countries (e.g. Spain, 'Endangered'): (45) habitat loss by drainage and control of water levels on floodplains.

Birdlife of the marshlands, including several taxa mentioned in Portuguese literature (e.g. pied avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta, plovers, Charadrius spp, herons, Ardeidae spp., grebes, Podiceps spp, and the black-winged stilt, Himantopus himantopus), faced the destruction of their habitats in recent years. In O Vale da Paixao (1998), Lidia Jorge found literary wording for what happened in the salt marshes of the Algarve coast, the southern region of Portugal (unit nr. 28), where tourism has vastly developed: 'The salt marsh birds that took off from the earthworks, close to the dunes, appeared walking in dry land stubble, cross-eyed, fleeing, laying eggs at the wrong time and place.' (46)

3.3 Agricultural field species

Among the 23 taxa that nest preferentially in agricultural habitats, we highlight the lesser kestrel, Falco naumanni, and the great bustard, Otis tarda. These species are 'Vulnerable' and 'Endangered' respectively in the Portuguese, (47) and are also protected at the European level (Bern Convention appendix II; EU Birds Directive, annex I). (48) The lesser kestrel is threatened by the loss of nest-sites, the accumulation of toxic pesticides, illegal hunting and the competition for nesting sites with other species; the great bustard is mainly threatened by the loss and decrease in quality of its natural habitat due to urban development and agricultural intensification (e.g. changes in cropping patterns, irrigation schemes, increased application of pesticides, etc.)

Aquilino Ribeiro ('A Mina de Diamantes' 1958) locates the lesser kestrel in his native region, comparing the main character's behaviour with its flight, 'higher than the kestrels in Serra da Nave'. (49) Located in the south of unit nr. 7 --Douro, Serra da Nave is far from the current distribution of the species in Portugal: it occurs mainly in unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo. (50) This geographical reference is very relevant to the knowledge of past distribution and to reconstruct the history of the species' decline in Portugal.

The great bustard's occurrence is mentioned by the following writers:

* Aquilino Ribeiro describes its arrival on the table lands located in the south of unit nr. 7--Douro, during Autumn (O Homem da Nave 1944);

* Maria Angelina and Raul Brandao (Portugal Pequenino 1930) place bustards near the town of Evora (unit nr. 26--Alentejo Central): 'They flew. And in the never-ending lowland, the bustard takes off close to the land, or the whiteness of a hill, between wheat fields, cork oaks, holm oaks and olive trees, rises far away, leagues away from another hill'; (51)

* Antunes da Silva (Suao 1960) mentions bustard carcasses as spoils of a hunting day (unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo);

* Urbano Tavares Rodrigues (Estorias Alentejanas 1977) places bustards in Vale da Parra (unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo), where the character looks for them in 'cold walks through the ashes of gum rockrose land'. (52)

The species is the largest land bird that occurs in the Iberian Peninsula. Males congregate in groups during the breeding season and exhibit a distinctive nuptial parade to attract females. This behavioural trait associated with their size and plumage make them very conspicuous in the open landscapes they inhabit. There are several historical references to the Great Bustard in the Portuguese territory, mainly as game species, which suggest the existence of a larger population with a broader distribution in the past. Nowadays, it nests only in Alentejo (units nr. 25--Alto Alentejo, nr. 26--Alentejo Central and nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo). (53)

3.4 Forest species

Among the 22 taxa of forest breeding birds, we highlight kites. 'Milhafre' and 'milhano' are Portuguese names attributed to the black kite, Milvus migrans, and the red kite, Milvus milvus, both species of medium-size raptors that nest in trees. They are mentioned in 22 different writings, by eleven writers, although they do not distinguish between the two species.

A Batalha Sem Fim (1932), by Aquilino Ribeiro, locates kites in the Pinhal de Leiria (unit nr. 11--Pinhal Litoral). At that time, they were abundant in that large pinewood, 'more than whales at sea'. (54) 'Serra dos Milhafres' (literally 'Hill of Kites') is the main fictional locus of Aquilino's novel Quando os lobos uivam (1958), where he represents his native region (partly in unit nr. 7--Douro, partly in unit nr. 14--Dao-Lafoes). Furthermore, the writer also mentions kites as predators, either comparing them to humans (A Via Sinuosa 1918, O Homem que matou o Diabo 1930, Volframio 1944 and Cinco Reis de Gente 1948), or describing their natural behaviour (Andam Faunos pelos Bosques 1928): 'Now the kite is in the sky looking for the partridges that leave to have the stubble's grains for lunch'. (55)

Kites are also described in the following texts, flying in the landscape or catching prey: Casa na Duna (1943), by Carlos de Oliveira (unit nr. 10--Baixo Mondego); A Casa da Malta (1945) and A Noite e a Madrugada (1950), by Fernando Namora (unit nr. 17--Beira Interior Sul); Alexandra Alpha (1987), by Jose Cardoso Pires (unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo); A La e a Neve (1947), by Ferreira de Castro (unit nr. 18--Cova da Beira); Portugal Pequenino (1930), by Maria Angelina e Raul Brandao (unit nr. 3--Ave and unit nr. 5--Tamega); Diarios I a IV (1941 - 1949), and Pedras Lavradas (1951), by Miguel Torga (unit nr. 25--Alto Alentejo and unit nr. 3--Ave, respectively); A Luz da Cal (1996), and Estorias Alentejanas (1977), by Urbano Tavares Rodrigues (unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo); and Suao (1960), by Antunes da Silva (unit nr. 27--Baixo Alentejo).

The black kite is a migratory species relatively common in the Portuguese mainland, apparently stable, although its estimated population is unknown. (56) On the contrary, the red kite has a 'Critically endangered' resident population and a 'Vulnerable' migratory population. (57) The few confirmed locations of breeding are in a narrow range close to the north-eastern border region. (58) Reasons for the need for protection are human persecution, hunting, poisoning and deterioration of habitats, among others.

Other forest breeding raptors mentioned in literary writings include owls (Strigiformes spp.), eagles (gen. Aquila, Buteo, Circaetus, Circus, Hieratus and Pandion), the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). We found the vulnerable northern goshawk (forest fires and planting of exotic forest species are amongst its main threats) (59) in seven writings by three writers, from the first and second time-periods. The species was used in falconry as it can kill most of the national game species, and wild specimens were persecuted in the 1930s and 1940s through a campaign against 'noxious animals'. These subjects are discussed by Aquilino Ribeiro (O Homem da Nave 1944): 'Gunpowder deprived the tamed falcon and the domesticated goshawk of their privilege ... and they fire token musket shots at the goshawks and ospreys so that they take neither the nestlings nor the partridge chicks that run in the stubble and disperse themselves on sight like foam.' (60)

A wide set of other forest breeding birds also occur in literary texts: tits, serins, wrens, flycatchers, sparrows, nightingales, chaffinches, blackcaps and treecreepers, among the small passerines; green woodpeckers, nightjars, golden orioles, jay and jackdaws, representing the medium-size birds.

3.5 Shrubland species

The wheatears (gen. Saxicola and gen. Oenanthe) are among the nine taxa of bush land breeding birds. Maria Angelina and Raul Brandao (Portugal Pequenino, 1930) underline their bad appearance and singing: 'so ugly! such a bad singer, the poor thing ... says the crested lark far away, among the corn'. (61) They have a 'cursed croak since they have denounced Jesus Christ', (62) wrote Ferreira de Castro in Terra Fria (1934), recalling a legend that says that during the escape of the Holy Family to Egypt, one wheatear announced its passage by fluttering and chirping loudly: 'Shahs, shah, shahs, and go out there!' Our Lady cursed the wheatear, saying that its meat would not be tasty and that it would make nests only in bad places. (63)

The black wheatear, Oenanthe leucura, is threatened in Portugal ('Critically endangered'), (64) with a major population decline in recent years. Causes for this increasing rarity are unknown, although the disappearance of its favourite nesting places (cavities in old buildings) is indicated as one of the main reasons.

3.6 Species of undifferentiated habitats

Twenty-eight taxonomic units are classified in this category. It includes a variety of non-specialists, which nest in different types of habitats. Most of them live in commensalisms with humans or use their built structures to support nests.

Common taxa well represented in the literary corpus and widespread throughout the country occur in this category, such as house martins and swallows (Hirundinidae spp.), wagtails (Motacilla spp.), the crow (Corvus corax), the woodlark (Lulula arborea), the cuckoo (Cuculidae spp.), the blackbird (Turdus merula), the sparrow (Passer spp. or Petronia spp.), pigeons (Columba spp.), and the thrush (Turdus spp.).


This study of a wide range of texts allows us to conclude that wild birds are important components of literary scenarios in Portuguese literature. An inventory of Portuguese literary birds includes an enormous variety of species: small, medium and large size, conspicuous and inconspicuous, native and non-native, wintering and breeding in all the habitats of the mainland territory. Like the Mediterranean basin, of which the Portuguese mainland is part, this literary corpus can be perceived as a sort of biodiversity hotspot in terms of avifauna. This is a consequence of thematic and stylistic choices of the writers linked not only to their appreciation of nature, but also to their deep knowledge of species and their habitats.

Considering that literature is a cultural creation, and therefore more than a product of individual imaginations, (65) this considerable presence of birds, and nature in general, in canonical literature can be perceived as a mirror of social and cultural values and environmental representations. As Portugal was an eminently rural and agricultural country during the first two periods under consideration, its literature can reflect a significant proximity and familiarity with the countryside and its biotic elements. Besides the decline of agriculture, land abandonment and high rates of depopulation, mainly since the 1960s, such proximity is still present in contemporary writers. In this case, birds appear mainly as part of childhood memories and bucolic landscapes, although their descriptions are also imbued with scientific knowledge and an environmental discourse on wildlife preservation. Let's consider three writers from the third period to illustrate it: Bento da Cruz (1925-2015), Urbano Tavares Rodrigues (1923-2013) and Lidia Jorge (1946-).

In Planalto de Gostofrio (1982), Bento da Cruz presents himself as an 'expert on birds', in his own words, as his childhood was spent close to nature. Among other distinguishable features, he recognises birds by shape, plumage, flight, song, nest, etc. Owing to this expertise, the writer proposes a new ornithological taxonomy with six categories, each including several examples: (1) those of royal blood, like eagles, condors, hawks, wild ducks, herons and partridges; (2) those of heraldry, like wild pigeons, jays, doves, thrushes, shrikes, blackbirds and starlings; (3) the plebs, like larks, finches, warblers, robins and wrens; (4) the minstrels, like nightingales, canaries and goldfinches; (5) those of ill repute, like owls, crows, magpies and cuckoos; and (6) the beggars, like sparrows and wagtails. (66)

A childhood spent close to nature is also recalled by Urbano Tavares Rodrigues. In A Luz da Cal (1996), birds appear as a natural element in most of his descriptions of the landscapes of Alentejo, a Southern region. When describing the area where he spent his early years, the writer recalls 'its rocks and gum rockroses, its jimson weeds, magnificent griffon vultures, that would not let us get close, [and] the kites prowling some remains of a dead animal'. (67) In the short story 'A Ultima Facanha do Tigre', he further states that, before leaving the area, his brother and he would wander through its hills to 'keep in the eyes those views of familiar places, where kites and great bustards would rest themselves in tussocks of broom'. (68)

Lidia Jorge, whose two novels are set in the Algarve (Portugal's southernmost province), is considered a 'universal Algarvian'. (69) For her, the problematic of being, which surpasses geographies and nationalities, is associated with a lyric of the local and natural, the countryside and the sea, which takes childhood affective memories as reference. In a testimony about her life history, she said that she grew up with her mother and grandmother, two women for whom life was inhabited by essential beings, anthropomorphised plants and animals, which filled in the emptiness left by their husbands' emigration. (70) In O Vale da Paixao (1998), that memory is mirrored in a particular character--the uncle, the painter of birds. He explained everything to children about
the birds he didn't see, but which he knew were hidden in the burrows,
waiting for the storm to go, so that they could start building their
nests afterwards, like the cuckoo, the redstart, the robin, the zitting
cisticola, the bee-eater, the golden oriole, the nightingale, the
warbler. By heart he knew where the clear plumage, dark feathers, ties,
caps, crowns, faces, their noses, eyes, long feathered tails were. (71)

All these aspects correspond to what the environmental historian William Cronon (72) considers 'the nature we carry inside our heads', which is, according to him, crucial to protecting that which surrounds us.

When related to space and time, literary texts can be a valuable source of information to study the evolution of a species' distribution (and exploitation) over the past two centuries. For instance, geographical references combined with ecological knowledge are relevant to reconstruct the history of the decline of the now vulnerable lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Portugal.

Birds' literary representations are frequent and diversified in terms of taxonomic units. Furthermore, this richness tends to prevail over time despite local and wider major environmental changes. As these changes result from a combination of driving forces acting in a long period, sometimes compensating for each other (e.g. afforestation and wildfires), it is rather difficult to evaluate their impact in real bird assemblages. Species with strict habitat requirements (specialists) can disappear locally when a drastic habitat loss occurs, while others (generalists) survive in a mosaic of patches that includes agricultural, forest and burned areas (mostly shrublands). Recent studies in bird ecology show that a more equal distribution of the several land use types preserves bird diversity at a regional level. (73) Game management can also enhance the probability of detecting red-legged partridges (74) and other species, favouring not only hunting, but also non-consumptive uses, like birdwatching.

This study of birds in Portuguese literature based on taxonomic units does not exhaust the extremely rich literary material collected. Rather, it is a starting point that demonstrates the usefulness of cultural studies for nature conservation in obtaining additional information not only on the past distribution of species, but above all on their material and immaterial relationship with humans. Accordingly, we initiated complementary research into certain taxonomic units with a special natural or cultural interest, such as the redlegged partridge (Alectoris rufa), the white stork (Ciconia ciconia), and the common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos).

Data presented here could be complemented with a content analysis of the texts themselves. Also, we further suggest broadening the geographical scope of this study, by applying a similar analysis to wide ranges of literary texts in other languages.


IHC-FCSH and IELT--FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa Avenida de Berna, 26 - C, Lisbon, Portugal



IELT--FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa/SOGE, University of Oxford Avenida de Berna, 26 - C, Lisbon, Portugal


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(4.) J. Mynott, Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).

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(7.) A. Freitas, BI da Pomba (Lisboa: Apenas Livros, 2003) and P. Moreiras, BI da Perdiz (Lisboa: Apenas Livros, 2009), respectively. This collection is a systematisation of the representation of animals, plants, monsters and other mythical beings, based on various sources, including large collections of stories and legends from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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(17.) ZPE Continente,, accessed Jan. 2015

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(19.) Atlas of the Literary Landscapes of Mainland Portugal,

(20.) D. Alves and A.I. Queiroz, 'Exploring Literary Landscapes: From Texts to Spatiotemporal Analysis through Collaborative Work and GIS' International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 9.1 (2015): 57-73..

(21.) H. Costa, A. Araujo, J. Farinha, M. Pocas and A. Machado, Nomes portugueses das Aves do Palearctico Ocidental (Lisboa: Assirio e Alvim. 2000) and P. Catry, H. Costa, G. Elias and R. Matias, Aves de Portugal. Ornitologia do territorio continental (Lisbon: Assirio & Alvim, 2010).

(22.) Since 2000, Portuguese novels have been characterised by a vast plurality of genres, themes, and styles, which can be grouped according to an external concept unifying all, cosmopolitanism, according to Miguel Real, O Romance Portugues Contemporaneo 1950-2010 (Lisbon: Caminho, 2012).

(23.) E. de C. Caldas, A agricultura portuguesa, atraves dos tempos (Lisbon: INIC, 1991); M.C. Radich and A.A. Monteiro Alves, Dois Seculos da Floresta em Portugal (Lisbon: CELPA, 2000).

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(25.) P. Catry et al., Aves de Portugal, pp. 290-93.

(26.) Ministerio da Agricultura, do Mar, do Ambiente e do Ordenamento do Territorio. 6[degrees] Inventario Florestal 2010, Areas dos usos do solo e das especies florestais de Portugal continental 1995|2005/2010.

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(28.) Equipa Atlas, Atlas das Aves.

(29.) The Nomenclature of Terrestrial Units for Statistics (NUTS) is a statistical classification system for dividing up the economic territory of the European Union (EU) that established a hierarchy of four NUTS levels.

(30.) G.F. Sacarrao, 'Nomes vernaculos das aves portuguesas', Naturalia 19-20 (1962): 395-98.

(31.) S.R.L. Clark, 'Is humanity a natural kind?', in T.Ingold (ed.) What is an Animal? (London: Unwin Hyman,1994) pp. 173-74.

(32.) Ibid.

(33.) D. Macdonald, J.R. Crabtree, G. Wiesinger, T. Dax, N. Stamou, P. Fleury, J. Futierrez-Lazpita and A. Gibon, 'Agricultural abandonment in mountain areas of Europe: Environmental consequences and policy response', Journal of Environmental Management 59 (2000): 476-79.

(34.) E. Lemos, 'Animais (Os) como tema literario', in J.P. Coelho (ed.) Dicionario de Literatura --1[degrees] volume: 565-7. (Porto: Mario Figueirinhas Editor, 1997).

(35.) 'Aqui tem tambem as aves maritimas o seu ninho predilecto--os airos, as galhetas e as gaivotas, que passam num grasnido quase humano e que criam os filhos nos paredoes a pique, onde so se chega arriscando a vida ... Por um habito secular, tem como inviolavel este asilo.' M.A. Brandao and R. Brandao, Portugal Pequenino (Lisbon: Veja, 1985) pp. 78-79.

(36.) R.M. Lockley, 'Notes on the birds of Berlengas (Portugal), the Desertas and Baixo (Madeira) and the Salvages'. Ibis (1939) 94: 144-58.

(37.) M. Lecoq, Censo das populacoes de aves marinhas nidificantes no arquipelago das Berlengas em 2002: Calonectris diomedea, Phalacrocorax aristotelis e Uria aalge. Lisboa: Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves 2003 [unpublished report].

(38.) J. Almeida, (coord.), P. Catry, V. Encarnacao, C.Franco, J.P. Granadeiro, R. Lopes, F. Moreira, P. Oliveira, N. Onofre, C. Pacheco, M. Pinto, M.J. Pitta Groz, J. Ramos and L. Silva,. 'Aves', in M.J. Cabral, J. Almeida, P.R. Almeida, T. Dellinguer, N. Ferrand de Almeida, M.E. Oliveira, J.M. Palmeirim, A.I. Queiroz, L. Rogado and M. Santos-Reis (eds) Livro Vermelho dos Vertebrados de Portugal (Lisbon: Instituto de Conservacao da Natureza, 2005) pp. 319-20.

(39.) 'No rio ... relampejam ao res da torrente, fugazes como setas, para irem poisar no pedrical. E depois de breves saracoteios nos gogos alvadios que a agua vai afagando com a sua fimbria descuidada, imobilizam-se astutamente a espera da incauta boguinha.' A. Ribeiro, Aldeia: Terra, gente e bichos (Lisbon: Bertrand Editora, 1964) p.280.

(40.) P. Catry et al., Aves de Portugal, pp. 405-07.

(41.) National Ordinance nr. 137/2012, 11 May. Diario da Republica 92--I Serie. Lisboa: Ministerio da Agricultura e do Mar. Secretaria de Estado das Florestas e Desenvolvimento Rural.

(42.) J. Almeida et al., 'Aves', pp. 283-84.

(43.) Equipa Atlas, Atlas das Aves, pp. 220-21.

(44.) P. Catry et al., Aves de Portugal, pp. 405-06.

(45.) A. Madrono, C. Gonzalez and J.C. Atienza (eds), Libro Rojo de las Aves de Espana. (Madrid: Direccion Geral de la Biodiversidad-SEO/Bird Life, 2004), pp. 232-34.

(46.) 'As aves do sapal que se levantavam das terraplanagens, perto das dunas, apareciam caminhando no restolho sequeiro, vesgas, tresmontadas, pondo ovos fora do tempo e do lugar'. L. Jorge, O Vale da Paixao (Lisboa: Circulo de Leitores, 1999) p. 163.

(47.) J. Almeida et al., 'Aves', pp. 237-38 and 261-62, respectively.

(48.) Wid birds: threatened species website. (accessed April 2014).

(49.) 'mais alto que os francelhos na Serra da Nave', A. Ribeiro, 'A Mina de Diamantes' in O Malhadinhas (Lisboa: Bertrand Editora,1958) p. 208.

(50.) Equipa Atlas, Atlas das Aves, pp. 186-87.

(51.) 'Voaram. E, na planicie que nunca acaba, levanta-se a abetarda rente a terra ou ergue-se ao longe a brancura dum monte entre terras de pao, sobreiros, azinheiros e oliveiras, separado por leguas doutro monte ...' M.A. Brandao and R. Brandao, Portugal Pequenino (Lisbon: Veja, 1985) p. 110.

(52.) 'caminhadas frias pela cinza do esteval', U.T. Rodrigues, Estorias Alentejanas (Lisbon: Editorial Caminho, 1977) p. 217.

(53.) P. Catry el al., Aves de Portugal, pp. 354-57.

(54.) 'mais que baleias no mar', A. Ribeiro, A Batalha sem fim (Lisbon: Bertrand Editora, 1985) p. 17.

(55.) '[J]a o milhafre anda pelo ceu a coca das perdizes que saem a almocar o grao dos restolhos'. A. Ribeiro, Andam Faunos pelo Bosque (Lisbon: Bertrand Editora, 1985) p. 138.

(56.) P. Catry et al., Aves de Portugal, pp. 264-66.

(57.) J. Almeida et al., 'Aves', pp. 209-10.

(58.) Equipa Atlas, Atlas das Aves, pp. 156-57.

(59.) J. Almeida et al., 'Aves', pp. 225-26.

(60.) 'A polvora destituiu de suas prerrogativas o nebri e acor domesticados... E aos acores e xofrangos dao-lhes arcabuzadas simbolicas para que nao levem os pintos da ninhada nem os perdigotos que correm no restolho e se volatilizam a vista como espuma.' A. Ribeiro, O Homem da Nave. Serranos, cacadores e fauna varia (Lisbon: Bertrand Editora, 1968) p. 31.

(61.) '[O] chasco ... [t]ao feio! tao mau cantor, o pobre bicho ... diz ao longe a calcule entre o milho.' M.A. Brandao and R. Brandao, Portugal Pequenino (Lisbon: Veja, 1985) p. 91.

(62.) 'de grasno amaldicoado desde que denunciaram a Jesus Cristo'. J. Ferreira de Castro, Terra Fria (Lisbon: Guimaraes, 1968) p. 104.

(63.) Escavar ruinas blog. 'Lenda do Chasco e do pisco'. (accessed April 2014).

(64.) J. Almeida et al., 'Aves', pp. 375-76.

(65.) M. Fernandes, Hora di Bai: Os Cabo-verdianos e a Morte. Uma abordagem antropologica atraves da literatura de ficcao (Lisbon: Vega, 2004).

(66.) 'Desde as de sangue real: aguias, condores, gavioes, patos bravos, garcas, perdizes, pardas, parpalhozes; as de brasao: pombos selvagens, gaios, rolas, tordos, picancos, melros, estorninhos, poupas, narcejas; a plebe: calhandras, chascos, tentilhoes, cotovias, azureiras, cascarrolhos, toutinegras, piscos, folechas, carricas; as jograis: rouxinois, canarios, pintassilgos; as de ma reputacao: mochos, bufos, corujas, corvos, pegas, cucos; as mendicantes: pardais, passaros da navinha, lavandeiras ...' Bento da Cruz, Planalto de Gostofrio (Lisbon: Editorial Noticias, 1982) p.145.

(67.) 'suas rochas e estevas, suas figueiras do inferno, grifos magnificos, que nao nos deixavam chegar perto, os milhafres rondando alguns restos de animal morto'. U. Tavares Rodrigues, A Luz da Cal--itinerario alentejano (Ponta Delgada: Editorial Eter, 1996) p. 17.

(68.) Antes da abalada, peregrinavamos pelos cerros do Vale da Parra, para levar nos olhos aquelas vistas dos sitios familiares, onde se vinham amagar com os tufos de piorno os milhanos e as abetardas. U. Tavares Rodrigues, 'A Ultima Facanha do Tigre' Estorias Alentejanas (Lisbon: Caminho, 1977) p. 43

(69.) Eduardo Lourenco, conference on the 30th anniversary of the publication of 'O Dia dos Prodigios', in Idalio Revez, Universidade do Algarve homenageia Lidia Jorge, PUBLICO, Dec 14, 2010, (accessed 22 February 2015).

(70.) Entrevista a Lidia Jorge, SAPO Videos, (accessed 22 February 2015).

(71.) 'os passaros que nao via, mas que sabia estarem escondidos, amalhados nas tocas, a espera que o temporal passasse, para mais tarde iniciarem os ninhos, ele sabia do cuco, do rabirruivo, do pisco, do fuinha, do abelharuco papador de figos, do rouxinol, da toutinegra. De cor, ele sabia onde se encontrava a plumagem clara, as penas escuras, as gravatas, os capuzes, as coroas, as faces, as ventas, os olhos, as longas penas das caudas'. Lidia Jorge, O Vale da Paixao (Lisbon: Circulo dos Leitores, 1998) p. 113.

(72.) W. Cronon, 'The trouble with wilderness; or, Getting to the wrong nature', in Cronon (ed.) Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, pp. 69-90 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1995).

(73.) F. Moreira, P.G. Ferreira, F.C. Rego and S. Bunting. 'Landscape changes and breeding bird assemblages in northwestern Portugal: the role of fire'. Landscape Ecology 16/2 (2001): 175-187.

(74.) R. Borralho, C. Stoate and M. Araujo. 'Factors affecting the distribution of Red-legged Partridges Alectoris rufa in an agricultural landscape of southern Portugal'. Bird Study 47/3 (2000): 304-310.
                          Writings  Writers

Red-legged partridge        1st       1st
Pigeon                      2nd       2nd
Blackbird                   3rd       7th
Crow                        4th       4th
Sparrow                     5th       5th
Owl                         6th       6th
Seagull                     7th       3rd
Cuckoo                      8th      10th
Nightingale                 9th       8th
Dove                       10th       -
House martin or swallow     -         9th

Table 1. Top 10 ranking of taxonomic units by writings and writers

          1   2   3

writers   17  23  27
writings  32  67  46
taxa      45  97  65

Figure 3. Number of writers, writings mentioning wild birds and
taxonomic units over the three time-periods: (1) 1850s-1920s; (2)
1930s-1970s; (3) > 1980s.

Marine  Aquatic  Agricultural  Forest  Shrubland  Undifferentiated

  3       14         23          22        9            28

Table 2. Number of taxonomic units of breeding birds by habitat type.

Appendix 1. Tentative list of the equivalent names of birds, number of
records and taxonomic units by time period.

                Taxonomic units
Portuguese          Latin                English

Abelharuco,     Merops apiaster      European
melharuco,                           bee-eater
Abetarda        Otis tarda           Great bustard
Abibe,          Vanellus vanellus    Northern
macarico                             lapwing
Abutre          Aegypius mona-       Vulture
                chus, Neophron
                Gyps fulvus
Acor            Accipiter gentilis   Northern
Aguia           Aquila, Buteo,       Eagle
                Circaetus, Circus,
                Hieraaetus or
                Pandion spp.
Aguia real      Aquila chrysaetos    Golden eagle
Airos           Uria aalge           Common murre
Alavanco,       Anas platyrhincos    Mallard
Alcaravao,      Burhinus             Stone curlew
alguivao,       oedicnemus
Alcatraz,       Morus bassanus       Northern gannet
Alfaiate        Recurvirostra        Pied avocet
Andorinha,      Hirundinidae spp.    House martin or
andorinha de                         swallow
Andorinhao,     Apus spp.            Swift
zilro, guincho
Arveola,        Motacilla spp.       Wagtail
Azureira        Prunella             Dunnock
Borrelho        Charadrius spp.      Plover
Bufo, ujo       Bubo bubo            Eurasian
Cachapim,       Paridae spp.         Tit
Calandra,       Melanocorypha        Lark
calhandra       spp. or Calandrella
Canario,        Serinus serinus      Serin
Carrica,        Troglodytes          Eurasian wren
carricinha      troglodytes
Cartaxo         Saxicola torquata    Common
Cascarrolho     Lanius senator
Cegonha         Ciconia ciconia      shrike
Chasco          Oenanthe oenan-      Stork
                the or O. hispanica  Wheatear
Chasco          Oenanthe leucura
ferreiro                             Black wheatear
                Coturnix coturnix
Codorniz,                            Common quail
parpalhoz       Columbiformes
Columbideo      Galerida cristata    Pigeon or dove
Corcolher,      or G. theklae        Crested lark
calcule         Charadrius
Corricao        alexandrinus         Kentish plover

Coruja,         Strigiformes spp.    Owl
Corvo           Corvus corax         Crow
Cotovia         Lulula arborea       Woodlark
Cuco            Cuculidae spp.       Cuckoo
Escrevedeira    Emberiza spp.        Bunting
Esmerilhao      Falco columbarius    Merlin
Estorninho,     Sturnus unicolor     Starling
zorzal, zurzal  or S. vulgaris
Falcao          Falco spp.           Falcon
Felosa, folosa,                      Warbler
Ferreiro        Phoenicurus          Common
                phoenicurus          redstart
Flamingo        Phoenicopterus       Greater
                roseus               flamingo
Francelho       Falco naumanni       Lesser kestrel
Fuinha          Cisticola juncidis   Zitting cisticola
Gaio            Garrulus             Jay
Gaivota         Larus spp.           Seagull
Galheta, cor-   Phalacrocorax        Shag
vo-marinho,     spp.
cisne negro
Galinha-de-     Gallinula            Common
agua            chloropus            moorhen

Galinhola       Scolopax rusticola   Woodcock
Ganso, ganso    Anser spp.           Goose
Garca           Ardeidae spp.        Heron
Garca-cinzenta  Ardea cinerea        Grey heron
Gaviao          Accipiter nisus      Eurasian
Gerifalte       Falco rusticolis     Gyrfalcon
Gralha          Corvus corone or     Carrion crow
                C. monedula          or western
Grifo           Gyps fulvus          Griffon vulture
Grifo preto     Aegypius             Cinereous
                monachus             vulture
Grou            Grus grus            Common crane
Laverca         Alauda arvensis      Skylark
Macarico-real   Numenius arquata     Eurasian curlew
Maranteu,       Oriolus oriolus      Golden oriole
papador de
Melro           Turdus merula        Blackbird
Melro dos       Monticola saxatilis  Common
rochedos        or M. solitarius     rock thrush or
                                     Eurasian rock
Mergulhao       Podiceps spp.        Grebe
                or Tachybaptus
Milhafre,       Milvus milvus or     Red kite or
milhano         Milvus migrans       black kite
Narceja         Gallinago            Common snipe
Nebri           Falco peregrinus     Peregrine falcon
Negrola         Melanitta nigra      Common scoter
Noitibo         Caprimulgus          Nightjar
                europaeus or C.
Parda,          Muscicapa striata    Spotted
pardinha                             flycatcher
Pardal,         Passer spp. or       Sparrow
pardalito,      Petronia spp.
Pardejo-bravo                        Rock sparrow
                nia or Passer        or Eurasian tree
                montanus             sparrow
Pato,           Anatidae spp.        Duck
Pato-marreco,   Anas querquedula     Garganey
Pega            Pica pica            Common
Peneireiro      Falco tinnun-        Common kestrel
                culus ou Falco       or lesser kestrel
Peneireiro dos
Perdiz,         Alectoris rufa       Red-legged
perdigao,                            partridge
Pernilongo      Himantopus           Black-winged
                himantopus           stilt
Peto,           Picus viridis        Green
peto-real,                           woodpecker
Picantarrox,    Lanius spp.          Shrike
Pica-peixe,     Alcedo atthis        Common
guarda-rios                          kingfisher
Pintarroxo,     Carduelis            Linnet
pinta-roxo      cannabina
Pintassilgo     Carduelis            Goldfinch
Pisco/a         Erithacus rubecula   Robin
Pombo,          Columba spp.         Pigeon
pombo bravo,
pomba vadia
Poupa, popa     Upupa epops          Hoopoe
Rabilongo       Cyanopica cyanus     Azure-winged
Rabirruivo,     Phoenicurus spp.     Redstart
Rola, rolinha   Streptopelia spp.    Dove
Rola-turca      Streptopelia         Eurasian colla-
                decaocto             red dove
Rouxinol,       Luscinia             Nightingale
filomela        megarhynchos
Ruiva           Turdus iliacus       Redwing
Sapo-leva       Falco tinnunculus    Common kestrel
                or Accipiter nisus   or sparrowhawk
Sombria         Emberiza             Ortolan bunting
Tajasno,        Oenanthe oenan-      Northern
tanjardo        the or Saxicola      wheatear or
tanjasno,       spp.                 stonechats
Taralhao,       Muscicapa striata    Spotted
tralhao         or Ficedula          flycatcher or
                hypoleuca            European pied
Tarambola       Charadrius spp. or   Plover
                Pluvialis spp.
Tentilhao,      Fringilla coelebs    Chaffinch
Tordeia         Turdus viscivorus    Mistle thrush
Tordo/a         Turdus spp.          Thrush
Toutinegra      Sylvia spp.          Blackcap
Trepadeira      Certhia              Short-toed
                brachydactyla        treecreeper
Verdilhao       Carduelis chloris    European
Xofrango        Gypaetus barbatus    Bearded vulture

                    Number of records        Time period
Portuguese      excerpts  writings  writers   1  2  3

Abelharuco,        4         4         4      x     x
milharuco                                        x  x
Abetarda           6         4         4         x  x
Abibe,             5         5         3
macarico                                            x
Abutre             3         3         3

Acor               8         7         3      x  x

Aguia             20        20        13      x  x  x

Aguia real         1         1         1         x
Airos              2         2         2         x
Alavanco,          2         2         2      x     x
Alcaravao,         4         4         2         x
Alcatraz,          5         3         2         x
Alfaiate           2         2         1         x

Andorinha,        48        25        15      x  x  x
andorinha de
Andorinhao,        4         4         4         x  x
zilro, guincho
Arveola,          25        17        12      x  x  x
Assapador          1         1         1         x
Azureira           1         1         1         x  x

Borrelho           1         1         1         x
Bufo, ujo          5         5         4         x  x

Cachapim,         10         5         3         x  x
Calandra,         14        13        10      x  x  x

Canario,          11         8         7      x  x  x
Carrica,          17        13         8      x  x  x
Cartaxo            5         5         1      x  x
                                              x  x
Cascarrolho                                         x
                   1         1         1
Cegonha                                       x  x  x
Chasco            20        13        12      x  x  x
                   6         5         4
ferreiro           1         1         1         x
                                              x     x
Codorniz,         15        10         7         x
Columbideo         1         1         1         x
Corcolher,         6         6         2         x
Corricao           1         1         1         x

                                              x     x
Coruja,           62        34        20         x
moichela                                      x     x
Corvo             58        36        20      x  x  x
Cotovia           33        22        13
Crielvo            1         1         1         x
Cuco              50        27        13      x  x  x
Escrevedeira       3         3         1         x
Esmerilhao         1         1         1         x
Estorninho,       20        15         7      x  x  x
zorzal, zurzal
Falcao             5         4         3         x  x
Felosa, folosa,    8         8         3         x  x
Ferreiro           3         1         1         x

Flamingo           1         1         1            x

Francelho          1         1         1         x
Fuinha             1         1         1            x
Gaio              41        20         7      x  x  x

Gaivota           55        32        23      x  x  x
Galheta, cor-      5         3         3         x
cisne negro
Galinha-de-        1         1         1         x

Galinhola         10         8         5      x  x  x
Ganso, ganso       7         6         5      x  x  x
Garca              4         4         4         x
Garca-cinzenta     1         1         1            x
Gaviao            11        10         5      x  x  x

Gerifalte          4         4         1         x
Gralha            13        10         5         x  x

Grifo              5         5         4      x     x
Grifo preto        1         1         1      x

Grou               6         5         2         x  x
Laverca            2         2         1         x
Macarico-real      2         2         2         x
Maranteu,         24        11         5      x  x  x
papador de
Melro             77        40        18      x  x  x
Melro dos          2         2         1         x

Mergulhao          1         1         1         x

Milhafre,         36        22        11      x  x  x
Narceja            9         7         5         x  x

Nebri              6         4         1         x
Negrola            1         1         1         x
Noitibo           14         9         3      x  x

Parda,             2         2         2            x
Pardal,           67        35        20      x  x  x
Pardejo-bravo      1         1         1         x

Pato,             13        11         8      x  x  x
Pato-marreco,      2         2         2         x  x
Pega              11         8         6      x  x  x

Peneireiro         3         3         2         x  x

Peneireiro dos     1         1         1         x
Peneirinha         1         1         1         x
Perdiz,          130        48        23      x  x  x
Pernilongo         1         1         1         x

Peto,             17         7         2         x
Picantarrox,       7         4         3         x  x
Pica-peixe,        4         4         3         x
Pintarroxo,        3         2         2         x
Pintassilgo       20        14        10      x  x  x

Pisco/a           16        10         9      x  x  x
Pires              1         1         1         x
Pombo,            60        41        23      x  x  x
pombo bravo,
pomba vadia
Poupa, popa       26        17         7      x  x  x
Rabilongo          2         2         2            x

Rabirruivo,        3         3         2         x  x
Rola, rolinha     83        25        12      x  x  x
Rola-turca         1         1         1            x

Rouxinol,         42        27        17      x  x  x
Ruiva              1         1         1      x
Sapo-leva          1         1         1         x

Sarrau             1         1         1         x
Sombria            1         1         1         x

Tajasno,           5         5         3      x  x  x
Taralhao,          8         7         6      x  x  x

Tarambola          2         2         2         x

Tentilhao,        10         9         6      x  x  x
Tordeia            1         1         1         x
Tordo/a           22        14         9      x  x  x
Toutinegra         9         8         6      x  x  x
Trepadeira        10        10         9      x  x  x

Tuinha,            3         2         1         x
Verdilhao          3         3         3         x  x

Xofrango           1         1         1         x
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Article Details
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Author:Queiroz, Ana Isabel; Soares, Filipa
Publication:Environment and History
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:May 1, 2016
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