The owl is a dirty bird. The hoopoe is the dirtiest bird.
Hoopoe in a roundel.
The rubric for the hoopoe is missing. The hoopoe has a comb-like crest and startling black and white bars across its body. The crest illustrated is more like a peacock's crest. Compare the totally different version of the hoopoe on f. 36v. Initial type 2.
- Transcription and Translation
Transcriptioninter immunda animalia in Levitico deputatur. Unde per bubonem\ intelligere possumus quemlibet peccatorem. Bubo a sono vocis dicitur\ quia os ex abundantia cordis loquitur, nam quod cogitat mente,\ profert voce. Avis feda esse dicitur, quia fimo eius locus in quo habitat\ commaculatur, quia peccator illos cum quibus habitat, exemplo\ perversi operis dehonestat. Avis onusta plumis, id est, superfluitate\ carnis et levitate mentis, sed gravi quidem detenta pigricia.\ Detinetur inertia et pigritia g[ra]ravi, quia peccatores ad bene operandum\ sunt inertes et pigri. Die noctuque moratur in sepulcris, nam de\ lectatur peccato, quod est fetor humane carnis. Habitat enim in ca\ vernis nec per confessionem exit foras, sed lucem veritatis odit.\ Ab aliis avibus visus, magnis earum clamoribus proditur, magnis\ etiam incursionibus vexatur. Si enim peccator ad lucem cogniti\ onis veniat, magnum bene agentibus derisionis questum\ prestat. Et cum in peccato deprehensus aperte fuerit, ab aliis repre\ hensionis verba audit. Plumas evellunt et rostro lacerant,\ quia et carnales actus peccatoris bene agentes reprehendunt, et\ superfluitatem dampnant. Infelix ergo dicitur, quia infelix est\ qui ea que prediximus operatur. \ [De hupupa] \ Hupupam Greci appellant, eo\ quod stercora humana consi\ deret [considat], et fetenti pascatur fimo, avis\ spurcissima et cristis exstantibus ga\ leata, semper in sepulcris et humano\ stercore commorans, cuius sanguine\ quisquis se inunxerit, dormitum\ pergens demones suffocantes se vide\ bit. Unde Rabanus: Hec avis sceleratos\ peccatores significat homines qui sordibus peccatorum assidue de\ lectantur. Hupupa etiam luctum amare dicitur, quia [seculi] tristicia\
Translationit is classed among the unclean creatures in Leviticus (see 11:16). Consequently, we can take the owl to mean any kind of sinner. The owl gets its name from the sound it makes, because its mouth speaks when its heart is overfull, for what it thinks about in its mind, it utters with its voice. It is said to be a filthy bird, because it fouls its nest with its droppings, as the sinner dishonours those with whom he lives, by the example of his evil ways. It is weighed down with its plumage, as the sinner is with an excess of carnal pleasure and with fickleness of mind; but it is truly hampered by the weight of its sloth. It is hindered by the weight of its idleness and sloth, as sinners are lazy and slothful in acting virtuously. It spends its days and nights around burial places, as the sinner delights in sin, which is like the stench of decaying human flesh. For it lives in caves like the sinner who will not emerge from darkness by means of confession but detests the light of truth. When other birds see the owl, they signal its presence with loud cries and harrass it with fierce assaults. In the same way, if a sinner comes into the light of understanding, he becomes an object of derision to the virtuous. And when he is caught openly in the act of sinning, his ears are filled with their reproaches. As the birds pull out the owl's feathers and tear at it with their beaks, the virtuous censure the carnal acts of the sinner and condemn his excesses. The owl is known, therefore, as a miserable bird, just as the sinner, who behaves in the way we have described above, is a miserable man. [Of the hoopoe] The Greeks call the bird by this name because it roosts in human ordure and feeds on stinking excrement. The filthiest of birds, it is capped with a prominent crest. It lives in burial places amid human ordure. If you rub yourself with its blood on your way to bed, you will have nightmares about demons suffocating you. On this subject, Rabanus says: 'This bird signifies wicked sinners, men who continually delight in the squalor of sin.' The hoopoe is said to take pleasure in grief, as the sorrow of this world