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Birds of a feather flock together

刊登日期: 2018.11.09
作者: Grace Tse  

Between November and April, the WWF-Hong Kong(世界自然基金會香港分會)is organising bird watching sessions at Mai Po Nature Reserve (米埔自然保護區). Visitors may be able to see thousands of migratory birds inhabiting the marshes. If you have time, try to join this guided walk and find out whether “birds of a feather flock together” or not. 

Scientists believe that birds of the same species tend to fly or roost together in flocks to keep themselves safe from predators. Similar to the birds’ behaviour, people with similar interests or backgrounds gather together. 

Tom and John like football, and always watch matches together. It seems that birds of a feather flock together(物以類聚,人以群分). 

Many sources suggest that this proverb can be traced back to the 16th century. William Turner, an English natural historian, expressed this idea in Old English in his book entitled “The Rescuing of Romish Fox” in 1545: 

“Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.” (Birds of one kind and colour flock and fly always together.) 

A closer saying in English was found in the “Spanish Grammar” compiled by Richard Percyvall and John Minsheu in 1599. 

“Birdes of a feather will flocke togither.” 

This expression can be used in both positive and negative ways. 

Team A works more effectively than Team B. As birds of a feather flock together(志同道合), Team A members share similar aims and values. 

As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together(一丘之貉;臭味相投).” It is not surprising that the two robbers can make good friends within such a short period of time. 

Do you think that this proverb is relevant to your friendship circle? 

Migratory birds 

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