The halcyon. The sea becomes calm when the halcyon has laid its eggs.
Portrait of a blue bird with webbed feet and a saw bill.
The blue specks of the feathers derive from Aristotle's description of a kingfisher. The excision relates to the partridge on f.54r. Initial type 2.
- Transcription and Translation
Transcriptionodore. Tunc siquis hom-[A, inum ubi incubat appropin]\ quaverit, egresse mat-[A, res sese venientibus sponte offe]\ runt, et simulata debili-[A, tate vel pedum vel alarum, quasi]\ statim capi possint, gre-[A, ssus fingunt tardiores, hoc men]\ datio illicitant obvios [A, et illudunt quo adprovecti long]\ gius a nidis avocentur. N-[A, ec in pullis studium segnius]\ ad cavendum. Cum vis-[A, os se persentiscunt resupinati]\ glebulas pedibus attoll-[A, unt, quorum obtentu tam cal-]\ lide proteguntur, ut la-[A, teant deprehensi.]\ [De altione] \ Altion mariti\ ma avis est\ que in littoribus fetus\ suos edere solet, ita\ ut arenis ova sua\ deponat medio fere\ hieme. Nam id tem\ poris fovendi habet\ deputatum partubus\ quando maxime\ insurgit mare litori\ busque vehementior\ fluctus illiditur, quo magis repentine placiditatis solemp\ nitate avis huius eluceat gratia. Namque ubi undosum fue\ rit mare positis ovis subito mitescunt, et omnes cadunt\ ventorum procelle flatusque aurarum mitescunt, ac placidum\ ventis stat mare, donec ova foveat altion sua. Septem\ autem dies fotus sunt, quibus decursis educit pullos, fetusque\ absolvit. Ilico alios quoque septem adiungit dies quibus\ enutriat partus suos, donec incipiant adolescere. Nec\ mireris tam exiguum nutrimenti tempus cum absolutio\
Translationby the males' scent. Then, if any man approaches the place where the patridge is brooding, the mothers come out and deliberately show themselves to them; pretending that their feet or wings are injured, they put on a show of moving slowly, as if they could be caught in no time; by this trick they act as decoys to the approaching men and fool them into moving far away from the nest. The young are not slow, either, to watch out for themselves. When they sense that they have been seen, they lie on their backs holding up small clods of earth in their claws, camouflaging themselves so skilfully, that they lie hidden from detection. [Of the halcyon] The halcyon is a seabird which produces its young on the shore, depositing its eggs in the sand, around midwinter. It chooses as the time to hatch its young, the period when the sea is at its highest and the waves break more fiercely than usual on the shore; with the result that the grace with which this bird is endowed shines forth the more, with the dignity of an unexpected calm. For it is a fact that when the sea has been raging, once the halcyon's eggs have been laid, it suddenly becomes gentle, all the stormy winds subside, the strong breezes lighten, and as the wind drops, the sea lies calm, until the halcyon hatches its eggs. The eggs take seven days to hatch, at the end of which the halcyon brings forth its young and the hatching is at an end. The halcyon takes a further seven days to feed its chicks until they begin to grow into young birds. Such a short feeding-time is nothing to marvel at, since the completion