Bird divination was one of the most important forms of auspicy (messages coming from the sky) practiced in cultures throughout the world. Omens were gathered either through the singing, crowing or croaking of birds or through the pattern and direction of their flight.
The term auspice for a prediction comes from the Latin for an observer of birds. In Ancient Rome special augurs (trained philosophers) would interpret the auspicy which was seen as a message from Jupiter. In Rome, flight Auspicy took place within a sacred space, called templum, that was not a building but imaginary divisions marked off in the sky or on the ground by an augur.
Interpreting Bird Flight
You can use a flock of birds or a single one. Ask a question or think of a decision that involves a course of action and watch the behaviour of the bird. I have given the modern interpretations of the old auguries. If you are in a place where a variety of birds fly and perch, you might like to use the bird meanings given above to interpret areas of strength or concern. If you are in no hurry, sit and wait for the first birds to arrive.
A bag of corn may hasten the process.
Dark & Light
As a rule of thumb, where there is more than one species of birds, a light or brightly coloured birds indicates immediate action, while darker ones indicate a delay. If the question involves options, the arrival or movement of a light-coloured bird would tell you to act, a darker one to wait. Sometimes you can find darker and lighter birds among the same flock of pigeons and can observe which arrives or departs first.
Birds flying from the right indicate a smooth passage in any venture and that confident action should be taken. Birds flying from the left indicate delays and perhaps counsel waiting or remaining silent for a while. Birds flying straight towards the questioner indicate that happier times are coming. Those flying directly away suggest that the next few days are a time for tact and caution and for making plans rather than embarking on new ventures.
The higher the flight, the more favourable the omen. If the bird flies directly upwards, then the venture should achieve swift success with little effort needed on your part. If the flight is horizontal or veers up and down with the bird landing and flying off then landing again, you may need to apply more effort and not be deterred by initial obstacles.
If a bird suddenly changes direction, there may be sudden changes of heart or inconstancy from those close to you or sudden doubts of your own that you need to examine.
If a bird hovers directly overhead, beware of hidden criticism or new friends who may be less than direct.
If a song birds sings or utters a cry as it takes flight, it is a good sign for going ahead at once with any matter. A bird that calls as it lands may indicate caution is needed. If a dark bird or a bird of prey screams as it circles, unless it is near its nest there may be unexpected opposition to overcome.
Dawn is a good time for listening to bird song. Go where there are a number of birds, such as doves or blackbirds. Ask a question and close your eyes. Let the chorus form pictures and words in your mind. Your answer will come with the flow of the song.