By Katie Gill
Have you ever wondered exactly what the animals mentioned in “The 12 Days of Christmas” are? Some are obvious, but others, like the five golden rings, are not what we all assume. Check out these seven facts about the birds of lore:
- Young partridges hatch open-eyed and covered in down. They are capable of leaving the nest and feeding themselves.
- Turtle doves mate for life, hence the two together in “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The birds are symbols of love and fidelity in classic poetry and literature.
- The French hen, or Faverolles, is, indeed, a hen that originated from France. These birds have beards, muffs, feathered feet and five toes per foot, as opposed to the usual four.
- The calling birds mentioned in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” are blackbirds. The term used to be “colly” or “collie,” meaning “black as coal.”
- The 5 Golden Rings could be Common (Ring-necked) Pheasants, which were introduced to England from China and other parts of Asia in medieval times.
- Geese make their nests, which are flat and wide, out of grass, twigs, mud and feathers. The baby geese, or goslings, can walk and swim just a day or two after they’re born!
- Swans are highly intelligent birds that can remember who has been kind to them and who has not. So be good, for goodness sake!
- Extra fun facts — Christmas Animals from Around the World: https://onekind.org/christmas-animals-around-world/