On the Forth Day of Christmas
My true love sent to me, four calling birds …
If you wish to read about the origins of the traditional song, this is a very interesting article; https://americanornithology.org/three-french-hens/
According to the author, this line was originally “colly birds” not “calling birds”, colly meaning black (as in coal). Therefore, these were blackbirds! Blackbirds were once eaten, so this is another culinary gift in the song.
The common blackbird (Turdus merula) was introduced into Melbourne, Australia from the 1850s, along with other birds such as starlings, mynas and sparrows, with the intention of benefiting agriculture by eating insects! So much for good intentions.
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