A Heraldic Primer: Avians and their postures -
[] Just as there are beasts of the field, there are birds of the air. Though not as numerous as the beasts, there are still many different types of birds. One of the primary differences between beasts and birds is that the latter are commonly linked quite closely with a specific posture in period armory. Thus, in period armory, almost all displayed birds are eagles, only storks have the posture 'in their vigilance', only peacocks are 'in their pride' and only pelicans are 'in their piety'. The present Laurel thought on this is that birds who are represented in their period posture, displaying defining characteristics (more on this later) and were considered different in period will generally be considered different (i.e. worth a CD).
|An eagle||A falcon||An owl|
|The first group is that of the raptors: Chief among them is the Eagle, being the king of the air, much like the lion is the king of beasts. The eagle is normally seen displayed. Next is the falcon, which is seen as both rising and close in period armory. Finally, there is the owl which is always seen in period in the close guardant posture.|
|The next group is the general 'bird' group. The default posture for these is close and include birds such as the crow, duck and dove.|
|The final category is reserved for special birds who have postures which make them unique enough to render them different from other birds. These include the crane, peacock and the pelican.|
||~ Posture ||~ Defining traits ||~ stylised drawing ||~ Example || || Displayed || Wings and legs splayed || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird1.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/eagledisplayed.gif || || Close || Wings close against the body and feet on ground || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird2.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/falconclose.gif || || Volant || Feet invisible, wings outstretched. Wings can be displayed or not. || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird3.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/volant.gif || || Rising || Feet on ground, wings elevated or displayed, addorsed or not. || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird4.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/addorsed.gif || || Close affronty || Normally only for owls - also known as close guardant || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird5.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/owl.gif || || Pride || seen only with Peacocks. Close affronty with tailfeathers displayed || || File:Http://heraldry.sca.org/primer/peacock.gif || || Vigilance || seen only with Cranes. Close with one leg raised, stone in claw || || File:Http://heraldry.sca.org/primer/cranevig.gif || || Vulning or Piety || seen only with Pelicans..normally with nest and chicks || || File:Http://heraldry.sca.org/primer/pelican.gif ||
Like the beasts and their head postures, birds have wing position variants as well that are worth blazoning but not worth a CD. But note that: > An examination of the development of the various heraldic eagles shows that the direction of the wingtips of a displayed eagle is entirely a matter of artistic license. To avoid incorrectly limiting the submitter's ability to display the arms in reasonable period variants, we will no longer specify "elevated" and "inverted" when blazoning displayed birds. (LoAR August 2001) > ||~ Posture ||~ Defining traits ||~ stylised drawing ||~ Example || || Addorsed || Both wings on same side of body || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird6.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/addorsed.gif || || Displayed || Wings on either side of body || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird7.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/displayed.gif || || Elevated || Wingtips away from body || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird8.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/elevated.gif || || Inverted || Wingtips tucked back towards body || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/bird9.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/inverted.gif || Often, the two wing position variants will be used together, thus: [but note the following precedent: > An examination of the development of the various heraldic eagles shows that the direction of the wingtips of a displayed eagle is entirely a matter of artistic license. To avoid incorrectly limiting the submitter's ability to display the arms in reasonable period variants, we will no longer specify "elevated" and "inverted" when blazoning displayed birds. (LoAR August 2001) ] || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/addorsed.gif || File:Http://heraldry.sca.org/primer/inverted.gif || File:Http://heraldry.sca.org/primer/elevated.gif || File:Http:heraldry.sca.org/primer/displayed.gif || || Addorsed and elevated || Addorsed and inverted || Displayed and elevated || Displayed and inverted ||