Birds. The birds, as will be seen by the Table in the Appendix, are as varied in their names as the Beasts, though it is doubtful if the same variety could be detected in the actual emblazonment of the arms. As in the case of the beasts, in the ancient rolls of arms comparatively few varieties of Birds occur, and further the arms in which birds appear are not to be compared in number with those in which the beasts occur, amongst which the lion and leopard are so general. The little martlet is the most frequent, which is the Roll of Henry III., referred to under Beasts, occurs in eight coats of arms, the eagle in two, the popinjay in two, the raven, heron, and cock respectively in one coat. And if we go further through the same rolls before referred to, viz. Edw. I., II., and III., though the number of arms bearing the above is considerably increased, we add only two additional names to the list, the falcon, and pinzon.
But in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and more especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the list becomes swollen to over one hundred varieties at least in name. For it will be observed that in very many cases the name is adopted for the sake of the pun, and often a mere local name is given, such as the beckit for A'BECKET, and the like. All will be found mentioned under the forty articles or so represented by the names printed in the Synopsis in the italic type.
Gules, a bird standing upon an apple or--CONHAM, Wilts.
Gules, a bird on a rock proper--ROCK.
According to heralds, birds, unless the contrary is specified, are to be emblazoned with their wings close, as it is termed, except in the case of the eagle, when it would be drawn with wings displayed. But there is much variety of terminology applied to the mode of representing birds, and, according to theoretical heraldry, by a combination of the following terms the variety may be increased almost ad infinitum. For instance, a bird might be represented as: 1. Close; and beneath this the following varieties,--cl. embowed, cl. preying, cl. in full aspect, cl. aspectant, or at gaze, cl. in trian aspect, and cl. in trian aspect at gaze, 2. Displayed; under this, displ. erect, displ. inverted, displ. with double head, displ. without wings, displ. in majesty, displ. surgeant. 3. Expansed; and under this exp. elevated, exp. sepurture, exp. disclosed. Examples of one or two of the above will be found under Eagle, Falcon, &c., but practically the terms more frequently met with are less technical; e.g. a bird is regardant, or recursant, perched, standing, sitting, feeding, pecking, preying or trussing, pruning its wings, rising, volant, singing, croaking(of ravens), and pendent when dead and hanging. Again, a bird may be membered, collared, armed, crested, beaked, legged, jelloped, and combed(of cocks) of a different tincture; birds may also be jessed, hooded, and belled(of falcons), and vulned, or in piety(of pelicans). References are also frequently made to the wings, head, &c., which still further add to the variety of description.