are there really thorn birds

Thornbird myth edit

The mythological “thornbird,” which looks for thorn trees the moment it hatches, is referenced in the book’s title. It finds the ideal thorn tree, impales itself on one, and as it passes away, it sings the most exquisite song anyone has ever heard. The story makes reference to Thomas’s Gospel, chapter 9, and the Parable of the Sower found in the Synoptic Gospels. [3].

The myth is outlined in the book’s front matter:

Prior to the publication of the book, no sources were located for this myth; however, afterward, it has been referred to as “an old Celtic legend” in a number of nonscholarly sources. [5][6][7].

An alternative legend relates the European goldfinch to the name “Thornbird,” narrating how the bird removed a thorn from Christ’s crown of thorns and then splattered blood on its feathers. There are rumors that the bird appears in multiple child portraits intended for churches. [8].

Plot edit

The story opens in New Zealand on December 8, 1915, Meghann “Meggie” Cleary’s fourth birthday. She is the only child of Irish farm laborer Padraic (“Paddy”) and his wife Fiona (“Fee”). Meggie, who has curly red-gold hair and is gorgeous, is not given much attention and has to work hard to be accepted by her family, which at the time consisted of five older brothers. Frank, the oldest brother and her favorite, is a disobedient young man who is obligingly training to become a blacksmith. Though much smaller than his other brothers, he possesses great strength. He is thought to have inherited his black hair and eyes from his Maori great-great-grandmother, in contrast to the other Clearys.

Mary Carson, Paddy’s affluent sister, is a widow who resides on the massive sheep station of Drogheda in New South Wales, Australia. The Cleary family relocates from New Zealand to Australia in 1921 after Paddy accepts Mary’s offer of a job on her estate one day.

The family meets Ralph de Bricassart, a young, gifted, and driven priest, in Drogheda. He was banished to a secluded parish in Gillanbone, a town close to Drogheda, as retribution for insulting a bishop. In the hopes that Mary Carson’s sizeable donation to the Catholic Church would free him from his banishment, Ralph has made friends with her. Mary goes to tremendous measures to entice Ralph, who she describes as “a beautiful man,” to break his vows. Ralph ignores her advances and ploys and carries on with his visits. He looks after all of the Clearys, but he especially treasures little Meggie, who is abandoned.

Franks relationship with his father, Paddy, has never been peaceful. The two vie for Fees attention. Frank is angry at Paddy for making her endure so many pregnancies. The two men fight savagely, Fee, who is now in her 40s, admits she is pregnant once more, and Paddy tells Frank he is not his biological son. It is revealed that Fee, a well-known New Zealand citizen’s daughter, had an affair with a married politician. Frank, the outcome, was just 18 months old when Fee wed Paddy. Fees’s favorite child has always been Frank because he reminds her of her lost love. Following their disagreement, Frank leaves to pursue a career as a prizefighter. Fee gives birth to James and Patrick (Jims and Patsy), twin boys, but doesn’t seem to care much for them. Shortly afterward, Meggies beloved little brother, Hal, dies.

Meggie clings to Ralph de Bricassart, her steadfast friend and mentor, now that Hal and Frank have passed away. Some people, including Ralph and Meggie, start to doubt their close relationship as she matures into a woman. Inspired by a combination of Machiavellian cruelty and jealousy, Mary Carson comes up with a scheme to break Ralph and Meggie apart by luring Ralph with a position of authority within the church. Despite the fact that her original will names Paddy as the primary beneficiary, she secretly drafts a new one designating Ralph as the executor and the Roman Catholic Church as the primary beneficiary.

The extent of Mary’s wealth is finally disclosed in the new will. Contrary to what Ralph and Paddy have long assumed, Drogheda is only her pastime and a distraction from her real financial interests. Mary’s wealth comes from a sizable international financial empire valued at more than 13 million pounds, or 200 million Australian dollars, today. The magnitude of Mary’s bequest alone will ensure Ralph’s quick ascent in the church. She also ensures that, initially, only Ralph will be aware of the new will, forcing him to decide between Meggie and his own goals. Additionally, she takes care of her disinherited brother by guaranteeing him and all of his grandchildren a house on Drogheda for as long as any of them live.

Ralph goes to tremendous measures to stay away from Meggie, who is now 17 and wearing a stunning rose-pink evening gown, at Mary’s 75th birthday celebration. Afterwards, he tells Meggie that not everyone will view his attention as innocent. Ralph discovers of the new will after Mary passes away later that evening. He immediately recognizes the subtle brilliance of Mary’s plan, and despite his tears and denunciation of her as “a disgusting old spider,” he promptly takes the new will to her attorney. Outraged, the attorney begs Ralph to obliterate the will, but in vain. The 13 million pound bequest has the desired effect, and Ralph quickly departs for Sydney to start moving up the church ladder.

Meggie tells him she loves him before he leaves, and the two of them kiss passionately. But, Ralph withdraws due to his priestly responsibilities and begs Meggie to find someone suitable to date.

The Clearys find out that Frank killed someone during a fight and was found guilty of murder. Frank spends three decades in prison.

More tragedy strikes when son Stu is killed by a wild boar not long after discovering his father’s body and father Paddy perishes in a lightning fire. Ralph, meanwhile, is traveling back to Drogheda after learning of the fire and is not aware of Paddy and Stus’s deaths. When his plane bogs in the mud, he sustains minor injuries. Their love is rekindled as Meggie tends to his wounds, but Ralph rejects Meggie once more, and he only stays in Drogheda long enough to oversee the funerals.

After three years, Meggie is courted by Luke ONeill, a sheep shearer. She marries him because he somewhat resembles Ralph, even though his motivations are more mercenary than romantic; additionally, Luke is not Catholic, and she has no interest in religion; this is her own way of exacting revenge on Ralph. She soon realises her mistake. Following a brief honeymoon, Meggie is hired as a live-in maid by the kind Muellers, who are skinflints who view women as sex objects and prefer the company of men. Luke then departs to join a group of itinerant sugarcane cutters in North Queensland. Prior to his departure, he pilfers all of Meggies’ savings and makes arrangements for her salary to be sent to him directly. He tells her he’s saving for a homestead, but he soon develops an obsession with the competitive labor of cane cutting and doesn’t really intend to give it up. Meggie purposefully obstructs Luke’s usual contraception in an attempt to curb his ambition and settle him down. As a result, Luke has a red-haired daughter named Justine. The new baby, however, makes little impression on Luke.

Father Ralph visits Meggie during her difficult labour. He is leaving Australia for Rome, so this is his last chance to say goodbye. He sees Meggies unhappiness and pities her. When Justine turns out to be a difficult baby, the Muellers send Meggie to a remote island resort to relax. After returning to Australia, Father Ralph finds out where Meggies is from Anne Mueller and spends a few days with her. When the couple finally achieves their passion there, Ralph realizes that, in spite of his desire to be the ideal priest, his love for Meggie makes him a man like other men. After he leaves the church, Meggie—who is now expecting Ralph’s child—chooses to break up with Luke. She tells Luke how she truly feels about him, has one last sleep with him to make sure her child’s paternity won’t be questioned, and then leaves him to his cane-cutting in Drogheda.

She gives birth to a gorgeous boy back at home, whom she names Dane. Fee, who has knowledge of these things, recognizes Dane’s similarity to Ralph from the moment of his birth. Something positive happens in Meggie and Fee’s relationship. Justine develops into a self-reliant, sharply intelligent young woman who adores her brother. She doesn’t really need anyone else, though, and she politely rejects Meggies’ attempts at maternal affection. Meggies’ remaining brothers never marry, and Drogheda progressively fills with elderly residents.

After a protracted absence, Ralph returns to Drogheda and first encounters Dane. Despite feeling an odd attraction to the boy, he is unaware that the two are father and son. Thanks to Ralph’s intervention, the long-incarcerated Frank is also finally granted parole at this time, and he returns to Drogheda a broken man. Meggies is shocked when Dane grows up and chooses to become a priest. Fee informs Meggie that she has to return the things she took from God. Meanwhile, Justine makes the decision to pursue a career in acting and departs from Australia to pursue it in England. Now a cardinal, Ralph helps Dane grow up, but he doesn’t realize that the young man is actually his son. Dane is also unaware of their true relationship. Ralph looks after him well, and people mistake them for uncle and nephew due to their similarity. Ralph and Dane encourage the rumour.

Even though her brother is frequently taken aback by her sexual exploits and carefree way of life, Justine and her brother are still close. She makes friends with Rainer Hartheim, a German politician who is very close to Ralphs and Dane and who develops feelings for her. When tragedy strikes, their friendship becomes the most significant thing in her life and is about to grow into something more.

Dane is on vacation in Greece after being ordained as a priest. He attempts to save two women from a dangerous current one day while swimming there and drowns. Meggie reveals before Danes funeral that Dane is Ralphs son. Ralph dies in Meggies arms after the funeral.

After cutting off all contact with Rainer, Justine descends into a melancholy, routine life. After a while, they get back in touch purely on a platonic level, and then Rainer goes to Drogheda by himself to beg Meggie to assist him in asking Justine to marry him. As the only living grandchild of Fee and Paddy Cleary, Justine eventually comes to terms with her true feelings for Rainer, and the two get married.

When I say “thorn forest”, I really mean it. It was the first time I had gone there in the early morning in warm enough weather to leave my old leather birding jacket in the car when I went there last week. When I saw how difficult it was to navigate the huizaches, prickly pears, and spiny acacias that grow incredibly close to one another in this valley, I almost went back for it. In certain circumstances, such as in a thorn forest, safety can be crucial.

However, what protection means to one bird may not mean the same thing to another. Thorns need to be avoided by humans, but they frequently offer cover for birds. Possibly for this reason, the image displays a pair of Clay-colored Sparrows, a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a beautiful Virginia’s Warbler, all of which are concealed among numerous prickly huizache thorns.

The fantastic variety of habitats that La Mesa offers is what makes it my new favorite local birding destination, not just because it’s so close to home. I enter mature pine woods after three miles of walking past the small town. I travel through a beautiful mixed habitat along the route, full of native trees that provide food for fruit-eating birds and flowers that draw every kind of hummingbird found in our area. But most of the time, the highlight of my day is in the thorny forest that surrounds a small reservoir, which is before I even get to the town.

The Beat Writer Posting Calendar is as follows: Monday at 7 AM: Kai Pflug; Tuesday at 7 AM: Donna Schulman; Wednesday at 7 AM: Patrick O’Donnell; Thursday at 7 AM: Paul Lewis; Friday at 7 AM: David Tomlinson; Saturday at 7 AM: Luca Feuerriegel (biweekly); Sunday at 7 AM: Hannah Buschert (monthly) All times are Eastern US Jason Crotty, Mark Gamin, Angela Minor, Clare, Morton Dragan Simic, and Aleksandar Topalov are contributors at any time.


Is there really such a thing as a thorn bird?

Lanius ludovicianus. The loggerhead shrike is a songbird slightly smaller than a robin. Despite its small stature, the behaviors of a shrike reflect those of a raptor. It is commonly known as the “butcherbird” or “thorn bird” for its habit of impaling prey on sharp objects, such as thorns and barbed wire fences.

Was The Thorn Birds based on a true story?

Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough is not a true story. The story is set in Drogheda, Austrailia which is a town that does not actually exist but is based on the remote towns that were created in the Northwest Territory. All of the characters were created but some were based on people McCullough knew.

What is the myth of The Thorn Birds?

Thornbird myth In the front matter of the book, the myth is set out: There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one.