Jay
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Source: Koninklijke Bibliotheek - Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts Copyright 2002 Koninklijke Bibliotheek / Used by permission Manuscript description Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16, Folio 90r


 

Jay

Latin name: Graculus

Other names: Choucas, Geai, Jackdaw

A very noisy bird

 

 
General Attributes

The jay or jackdaw is a noisy bird. It lives in forests and flies from tree to tree, singing noisily. A captured jackdaw can be kept in a cage and can be taught to talk. If such a bird escapes back to the forest, it is even noisier than before.


Allegory/Moral

Jays represent gossips, those who take pleasure in repeating gossip and listening to slander. The escaped jay represents the man who leaves a monastic order, and turns his gift of speech to slander.


Sources (chronological order)

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:45): The jay or jackdaw (graculus) is not named, as some would have it, because it flies in a flock (gregatim), but because it is garrulous. It is a talkative bird with a rude sound.


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