Folio 25v Translation and Transcription
||Folio 25v Translation
like the swan and the blackbird. Some imitate the words and voices of men, like the parrot and magpie.
There are countless others, however, differing alike in kind and habits. For it is impossible to find out how many kinds of birds there are. And anyone who could penetrate the desert places of Scythia and India or Ethiopia still could not get to know all the species of birds there or the differences between them.
Birds are called aves because they do not go in a straight line but fly at random, off-course, per avia. They are called alites, winged creatures, because it is on their wings, ale, that they reach for the skies and it is by beating them that they ascend to the heights. They are called volucres, flying creatures, from volandum, flying, For what we call 'walking' and 'flying' stem from the same mechanism. For what we call vola, the hollow, or middle part of the foot or the hand, is in birds the middle part of the wings - at the junction with the shoulders - by whose motion the flight feathers are activated; hence their name, volucres.
The young of all birds are called pulli. But the young of quadrupeds are also called pulli. So, too, is a human child. The newly-born, then, are called pulli, because they are polluti, unclean; for the same reason, dark clothes are also called pulla.
Birds have wings, ale, in which feathers, fixed in a particular order, demonstrate the act of flight. Wings are called ale because birds nourish, alere, and cherish their young, folding their wings around them. The flight feather, penna, is so called from pendeo, to hover, that is, fly, from which comes also 'suspend'. For birds move by means of their flight feathers when they entrust themselves to the air. The down feather, pluma, is so to speak, piluma, derived from pilus, hair. For just as there are hairs on the body of a quadruped, so there is down on birds.
It is known that many bird-names are formed from the sound of their call, like grus, the crane; corvus, the raven; cignus, the swan; bubo, the owl; milvus, the kite; ulula, the screech-owl; cuculus, the cuckoo; [garrulus] graculus, the jackdaw, and others. For the particular call they give has taught man what name they should be given.
Of the silver-sheathed wings of the dove
It is my intention to paint a picture of the dove, whose wings are sheathed in silver and whose tail has the pale colour of gold (see Psalms, 68:13). In painting this picture I intend to improve the minds of ordinary people, in such a way that their soul will at least perceive physically things which it has difficulty in grasping mentally; that what they have difficulty comprehending with their ears, they will perceive with their eyes.
I want not only to depict the dove by creating its likeness,