A badge ques­tion to tackle

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

This may be one of the stranger re­quests you have had, but our rugby club uses the at­tached bird as part of the badge and we are try­ing to iden­tify what kind of bird this might be? Chris Bell

QBirds are pop­u­lar and com­mon sub­jects in her­aldry, and some do in­deed de­rive from real species. One of the most com­mon birds in her­aldry, the Mart­let, seems to have be­gun life as a Swal­low, or pos­si­bly a lark, and the fa­mous Liver Bird of Liver­pool FC fame was orig­i­nally some form of ea­gle, but is now most def­i­nitely a Cor­morant. Ea­gles are a pop­u­lar bird in coats of arms and lo­gos, and quite a few seem to be crested, de­spite there be­ing no truly crested ea­gles in Europe. It seems that the ‘crest’ was just a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the raised feath­ers present when an ea­gle is adopt­ing an ag­gres­sive or de­fen­sive pos­ture. We note that your rugby club is based in Bed­ford, so we’re as­sum­ing that the ea­gle was adopted from the ap­par­ent coat of arms of the last of the Beauchamp barons of Bed­ford. This ea­gle seems to be a generic heraldic ea­gle, rather than any ac­tual species, we’re sorry to say.

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