Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sparrow Wings, or Always Carry a Bag in Your Pocket

I have been preserving sparrow wings that were found on my doorstep; the aftermath of a kitty no doubt. All the was left was a pair of partially intact wings and a few feathers. Usually when I come across such a find I hold a little ritual and bury them. Besides items like feathers and shed antlers, I usually do not collect animal parts myself, although I have kept some dead insects that I have found, such as the bee that sits on my altar in a little bottle.

Given where I found the wings and their placement, I felt that I was meant to keep them. So I left them in cornmeal for one month in a shoebox in a dark, cool place. After the month was up I then carefully dusted off the cornmeal with a small paintbrush. I got the info on how to do it here.

Finding the sparrow wings reminded me of when a group of us first graders found a dead sparrow on the school ground, and we had a little funeral for it near the baseball diamond. The recess monitor who caught us in the act was horrified, marching us to the bathrooms to wash our hands, when one of my friends proudly pointed out that the bird was handled with a plastic bag that she had in her pocket. Turns out her smart Granny advised her to always carry one on her just in case. Bless her!

Since that day I have carried the advice and a bag with me, because you never know what witchy folks will find when out for their adventures. ;) 

For those who are called to work with found animals and want to do your own preserving, some great resources for you to check out are Ms. Graveyard Dirt and Sarah Lawless for practical info. Another great source of information for those who wish to purchase or sell animal parts, Lupa from The Green Wolf has a list of laws for these transactions {mostly focused on the U.S., but there is some info for other countries}.

Just one final note: I have no intention of selling animal parts; I am a complete greenhorn in this department and I am definitely not qualified to do so.



  1. Nice find !
    Thank you for the link that explains the method to preserve, because I was just searching how to do it ! :D

  2. You are most welcome Nuno! That particular website seems to have all sorts of interesting "how-tos" on it. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing the links. Your wings are pretty. I love your cloth, where did you get it?

  4. Deirdre: I am glad you enjoyed it. :) The cloth is actually a scarf which I got at a vintage store in Toronto's Kensington Market about a decade back.