Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Jynx!

Watch out! This bird will put a spell on you!

A birder may have a target bird so elusive that the bird becomes a kind of "jinx bird." But there was a real bird by that name! The bird once called the "jynx" is known today as the Eurasian Wryneck. When a wryneck is threatened, it twists its head like a snake and hisses. This behavior led to the wryneck being invoked in witchcraft to put a spell or a jinx on someone.

Get pictures of the birds featured in the week to come. Sign up for Weekly Preview.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
The Jynx Bird
Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote!

There’s an element of luck in birdwatching, and sometimes that luck is mostly bad. 

[Screamin’ Jay Hawkins ‘I Put A Spell on You’]

A birder may find a particular bird so elusive, that after many unsuccessful attempts to see it, the bird becomes a kind of “jinx bird.”

Can a bird truly be equated with bad luck? Europeans centuries ago believed so, for the very word “jinx” comes directly from a bird’s name.

The bird once called the “jynx” is the bird known today as the Eurasian Wryneck. When a wryneck, a brown and gray-toned bird about the size of a small woodpecker, is threatened at its nest-hole, it twists its head sideways like a snake and hisses. This anomalous behavior led to the wryneck being invoked in witchcraft to put a spell or a jinx on someone.

[‘I Put a Spell on You’ by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins]

Today, the Eurasian Wryneck seems harmless enough, although its scientific name, Jynx torquilla honors its neck-twisting, bewitching reputation.

Has a bird put a spell on you? Well let us know on our Facebook page. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein. 

[‘I Put a Spell on You’ by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins]
###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Call of the Eurasian Jynx recorded by B. Veprintsev.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org  January 2014/2018  Narrator: Michael Stein
ID#011306EUWR EUWR-01b

Sights & Sounds

LEAVE A COMMENT

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Related topics:

Home
Shows
Galleries
More