Bartholomew the Englishman

On the Pelican

Introduction by Juris Lidaka

Bartholomew says: "The pelican is the bird which is named porphyrio in "Leviticus 11 [11.18] and Deuteronomy 14 [14.17]. It is also a bird living in Egypt, in the desert beside the Nile. In Leviticus, it is numbered among the clean birds according to the Law. There are actually two kinds of this bird, one living in the water, whose food is fish, and the other living on land, loving the wilderness, whose food is venomous animals, such as lizards and the like. Everything the pelican eats, it first dips its foot into the water, and when it has been dipped, it brings [what it is eating] near its mouth, placing it there by using the foot like a hand. Among the birds, apart from the parrot, only the pelican uses its foot in place of a hand."

Original Latin