The Stymphalian Birds were a flock of man-eating birds with beaks made of bronze. They hard sharp feathers on their backs that they would shoot at humans. These birds lived in the vegetation around Lake Stymphalis, Arkadia. Stymphalian Birds lived there to haunt the lake and anyone who came near it.
This myth most likely originated due to constellations of the stars. As the sun is in the sign of Saggitarius, the rain season take effect as the evenings also begin to darken. The rain brings swamp and marsh to previously dry areas, which is where the birds lived. One of the constellations, Lyra, appeared to be a vulture hold a lyre which van be depicted as being one of the birds. The birds were pets to Ares, the god of war, and flew to the Lake of Stymphalia.
The Stymphalian Birds were incorporated in the myth of Hercules and his twelve labors. This was the only myth they were involved in other than being in Percy Jackson and the Olympians As Hercules approached his sixth labor, Eurystheus sent Hercules to scare the birds out of the woods around Lake Stymphalia. Then he shot the birds down one by one with a bow.
Further into the myth, Athena, the goddess of inventions gave Hercules a rattle that he could use to scare the birds out of the thick vegetation. The birds that were not shot by Hercules fled Greece and never returned again.
The birds had sharps feathers that were used as projectiles that they launched at their victims. They also have very sharp bronze beaks that could tear through human flesh. Stymphalian birds have extremely toxic dung, which can kill. And last but not least, they have iron claws that tear through flesh.
Interesting Facts: Edit
- These birds travel in very large flocks
- The ended up in Arkadia when they fled from a pack of wolves and then settled there
- These birds also destroyed many crops
- The birds fed on ambrosia and nectar as well and humans… GODS EAT AMBROSIA AND NECTAR TOO!!!
Atsma, Aaron J. "STYMPHALIAN BIRDS : Birds of Lake Stymphalus, Labor Heracles ; Greek Mythology ; Pictures ; Constellation : ORNITHES STYMPHALIDES." STYMPHALIAN BIRDS : Birds of Lake Stymphalus, Labor Heracles ; Greek Mythology ; Pictures ; Constellation : ORNITHES STYMPHALIDES. Theoi Project, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. http://www.theoi.com/Ther/OrnithesStymphalides.html
MMIX Encyclopedia. "STYMPHALIAN BIRDS." Stymphalian_Birds. MCMXCV, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/s/stymphalian_birds.html