The Birds of Paradise

The birds of paradise, as they came to be known throughout Europe, were as celebrated as the cloves, a token of heaven on earth. Maximilian of Transylvania reported that the Moors believed the birds were born in Paradise, spent their entire lives aloft, never falling from the sky until they died. Anyone who retrieved their skins and wore them in battle was supposed to be protected from harm. So these were extremely valuable presents, as Pigafetta realized at the time.

Over the Edge of the World, Laurence Bergreen