[Of the hoopoe] The Greeks call the bird by this name because it roosts in human ordure and feeds on stinking excrement. The filthiest of birds, it is capped with a prominent crest. It lives in burial places amid human ordure. If you rub yourself with its blood on your way to bed, you will have nightmares about demons suffocating you. On this subject, Rabanus says: ‘This bird signifies wicked sinners, men who continually delight in the squalor of sin.’ The hoopoe is said to take pleasure in grief, as the sorrow of this world brings about the death of the spirit; for this reason those who love God should ‘rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing and in every thing give thanks’ (see 1 Thessalonians, 5:16-18) ‘for the fruit of the Spirit is joy’ (see Galatians, 5:22).
In addition, Physiologus says of the hoopoe that when it grows old and cannot fly, its offspring come and pull out the oldest feathers from its body and constantly care for it, until it has recovered its strength as before and can fly. The young hoopoes provide, therefore, an example to those evil men who, when their parents grow old, throw them out of their home; who refuse to support, when they are weak, the parents who raised them when they were still in their infancy. Let man, who is endowed with reason, learn his duty to his mother and father, from the way in which this creature, which lacks reason, provides (as we have already shown) for its parents’ needs when they are old.
Then there’s a bit more on the Night Owl:
Of the night-owl The night-owl, noctua, is so called because it flies at night and cannot see in the daytime. For its sight is dimmed by brightness of the sun when it has risen. The night-owl, noctua, is not the same as the owl, bubo, which is bigger. But the night-crow, nicticorax, is the same as the night-owl, because it loves the night. For it is a bird which shuns the light and cannot bear to see the sun. This bird symbolises the Jews who, when the Lord our Saviour came to save them, rejected him, saying: ‘We have no king but Caesar’ (John, 19:15); and ‘loved darkness rather than light’ (John, 3:19). Then our Lord turned to us, the Gentiles, and gave us light as we sat in darkness and the shadow of death; of the Gentiles it is said: ‘A people which I knew not shall serve me’ (Samuel 2, 22:44; Psalms, 18:44); and in another prophet: ‘I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved’ (Romans, 9:25; see Hosea, 2:23). Of the people of the Jews, the sons of strangers etc.