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Table 1 Birds cited by informants in the semiarid region of Rio Grande do Norte State in northeastern Brazil as having medicinal and/or symbolic attributes: identification, categories and subcategories, uses and purposes (M- medicinal; S-symbolic), and number of citations per species

From: Birds and people in semiarid northeastern Brazil: symbolic and medicinal relationships

Families/species Vernacular name Category (subcategory) Uses and purposes Citations
Tinamidae     
Nothura boraquira Spix, 1825 White-bellied Nothura Medicinal (cures), Symbolic (protection) M- Administering an infusion made from the feathers of this bird will supposedly cure someone bitten by a snake. A soup made from the cooked meat of this bird can cure colds. S- Carrying a feather from this bird will protect a person from disagreeable events. 4
Carthartidae     
Coragyps atratus Bechstein, 1793 Black Vulture Medicinal (cures) M- The liver of this bird is extracted and cooked and then reduced to a powder. If this powder is added to the drink or food of an alcoholic, without that person being aware of it, they will supposedly be cured of alcoholism. Ingesting fat from the bones of this vulture will cure aching bones. 5
Cariamidae     
Cariama cristata Linnaeus, 1766 Red-legged Seriema Medicinal (prevention) Symbolic (protection) M- Using a necklace made from the feathers of this bird will help avoid serious reactions to snake bites. S- Using a necklace made from the feathers of this bird will protect the hunter and his dog from snakebites. 2
Columbidae     
Columbina minuta Linnaeus, 1766 Plain-breasted Ground-Dove Medicinal (cures) M- Drying the foot this bird and eating it raw, or preparing an infusion with the feces of this animal, are believed to cure colds. 2
Columbina talpacoti Temminck, 1811 Ruddy Ground-Dove Medicinal (cures) M- Drying the foot this bird and eating it raw, or preparing an infusion with the feces of this animal, are believed to cure colds. 2
Columbina squammata Lesson, 1831 Scaled Dove Medicinal (cures) M- Drying the foot this bird and eating it raw, or preparing an infusion with the feces of this animal, are believed to cure colds. 2
Columbina picui Temminck, 1813 Picui Ground-Dove Medicinal (cures) Symbolic (omens) M- Drying the foot this bird and eating it raw, or preparing an infusion with the feces of this animal, are believed to cure colds.
S- The call of this bird is believed to predict disagreeable events.
3
Patagioenas picazuro Temminck, 1813 Picazuro Pigeon Symbolic (omens) S- It is believed that this bird attracts disagreeable events. 1
Leptotila verreauxi Bonaparte, 1855 White-tipped Dove Medicinal (cures) M- Eating the cooked meat of this bird will cure morning sickness during pregnancy. 5
Psittacidae     
Aratinga cactorum Kuhl, 1820 Cactus Parakeet Medicinal (cures) M- Consuming a brew made from the meat of this bird is believed to facilitate the eruption of new teeth in children. 1
Trochilidae     
Chlorostibon lucidus Shaw, 1812 Glittering-bellied Emerald Symbolic S- Eating the heart of this bird will make a hunter more successful. 1
Corvidae     
Cyanocorax cyanopogon Wied, 1821 White-naped Jay Medicinal (cures), Symbolic (protection) M- If this bird is raised as a pet and fed with leftover food of a person afflicted with asthma or shortness of breath it will cure this illness. Applying an infusion made with the feathers of this bird will supposedly cure Chagas disease.
S- A bird kept as a pet in the house can help prevent disagreeable events, as it is believed to be capable of foretelling them.
25
Turdidae     
Turdus rufiventris Vieillot, 1818 Rufous-bellied Thrush Symbolic (climate) S- The song of this bird is believed to foretell rainfall. 1
Mimidae     
Mimus saturninus Lichtenstein, 1823 Chalk-browed Mockingbird Medicinal (cures) M- Eating the cooked meat of this bird will cure morning sickness during pregnancy. 1
Icteridae     
Icterus jamacaii Gmelin, 1788 Campo Troupial Symbolic (omens) S- Keeping this bird as a pet can attract disagreeable events. 1
Fringillidae     
Euphonia chlorotica Linnaeus, 1766 Purple-throated Euphonia Symbolic (omens) S- The song of this bird is believed to attract disagreeable events. 2