1. Of the Night-owl
The night-owl is a bird that loves the darkness of night. It shuns the light, flying at night in search of food. It never flies directly where it wants to go, but travels slantwise from its course. Some say that it flies backwards.
It lives in decaying walls and sets up house in ruins, often found in caves or among tombs. It is a dirty, slothful bird that pollutes its own nest with its dung. It cannot be brought to the island of Crete, if it is, it will instantly die. The night-owl lets out a scream when it senses that someone is about to die.
When other birds see its hiding place, they noisily attack it to betray where it has hid. A crafty fighter, it will lie down on its back and bunch itself up, fighting with its beak and claws. When outnumbered and surrounded, it calls upon its ally the Hawk, which comes to aid the night-owl in combat with its enemies. If seen in the day, it is of dire portent.
2. Of the Phoenix
The phoenix is a bird of Arabia. There is only one of its kind in the whole world. It lives for upwards of five hundred years, and when it observes that it has grown old, it erects a funeral pyre for itself from small branches of frankincense, myrrh and other aromatic plants. And turning to face the rays of the sun, and beating its wings, it fans the flames and is consumed in the fire.
From its marrow a worm arises and grows to maturity; and on the ninth day it acquires wings, and the phoenix rises from its ashes to fly.